WHO CAN RECEIVE THE VACCINE CURRENTLY?
Anyone age 12 and older can schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Ages 12-17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine at this time. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses initially, and a 3rd dose is recommended for certain groups. More details below. Johnson and Johnson is currently one dose only.
If you are a parent accompanying a minor to their appointment (12yo + for Pfizer only), it is helpful to bring their school photo ID, a birth certificate, or a social security card if they do not have a driver's license/permit.
Who can receive a 3rd dose currently?
Safety of the COVID-19 Vaccine
A new CDC analysis of current data from the v-safe pregnancy registry assessed vaccination early in pregnancy. The analysis did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage typically occurs in about 11-16% of pregnancies, and this study found miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were around 13%, similar to the expected rate of miscarriage in the general population. Click here for more safety information on vaccinations for pregnant people.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and an authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.
- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews all safety data before recommending any COVID-19 vaccine for use. Learn how ACIP makes vaccine recommendations.
- FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.
- The FDA has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.
BENEFITS OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE
COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
- COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
- Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN GETTING VACCINATED FOR COVID-19
Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, you may have questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. These tips from CDC will help you know what to expect when you get vaccinated, what information your provider will give you, and resources you can use to monitor your health after you are vaccinated.
Concerns about side effects
Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. However, your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection to disease.
COVID-19 vaccines are being tested in large clinical trials to assess their safety. However, it does take time, and more people getting vaccinated before we learn about very rare or long-term side effects. That is why safety monitoring will continue. CDC has an independent group of experts that reviews all the safety data as it comes in and provides regular safety updates.
How many doses are needed?
Moderna & Pfizer require two doses. The first dose starts building protection, but everyone has to come back a few weeks later for the second dose to get the most protection the vaccine can offer. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose to be effective.
*A third dose of Moderna & Pfizer vaccine is recommended for certain groups.
How much will it cost to get vaccinated?
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fundexternal icon
Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
The above link explains how the body fights infection and how COVID-19 vaccines protect people by producing immunity. It also describes the different types of COVID-19 vaccines that currently are available or are undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States.
Understanding COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines
The linked fact sheet provides information about mRNA vaccines generally and about COVID-19 vaccines that use this new technology specifically.
Authorized and Recommended Vaccines
As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and then recommended for use in the United States, it will be important to understand what is known about each vaccine. CDC will provide information on who is and is not recommended to receive each vaccine and what to expect after vaccination, as well as ingredients, safety, and effectiveness. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent serious illness from COVID-19:
- Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine (Comirnaty) - FDA Approved
- Moderna’s vaccine - Emergency Use Authorization
- Johnson & Johnson / Janssen vaccine - Emergency Use Authorization
American Sign Language (ASL) videos
Moderna Fact Sheet – Spanish
Moderna Fact Sheet - English
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Fact Sheet - English
COVID-19 Materials for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Care Providers
COVID-19 is challenging to explain, live through, and communicate about. The materials on this page were created to help make communicating about COVID-19 a little easier. Choose from videos, posters, social stories, and interactive activities to best meet your communication needs.
Click below to view materials that cover getting the COVID-19 shot, washing your hands, getting a COVID-19 test, as well as wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance until you have gotten your shot.
Click the image below to download & also view in Spanish.
Continue wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing from others and plan to get the vaccination when it becomes available to you.
Taking preventative measures help to reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. The vaccine will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.