Get-the-Facts-on-Vaccines_6-13-23 Get the Facts on COVID-19 Vaccines, Boosters, and Additional Doses

​​​​​​This information is no longer accurate and is for historical purposes only. For the latest on COVID-19 Vaccines, please visit the Get the Facts on Vaccines page.​

Get the Facts on COVID-19 Vaccines, Boosters, and Additional Doses

Woman points to her newly vaccinated arm

COVID-19 Vaccine Products: 

See Related Materials and the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Chart at the top of the page to see this info laid out in a table.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent Vaccine has EUA for use in people 6 months and older.
    • 1 bivalent dose for everyone 5 years and older
    • 3-dose series of bivalent vaccine for everyone 6 months through 4 years
    • People with compromised immunity and adults 65 years and older may be eligible for additional bivalent doses. See Related Materials on Booster  and Additional Doses.
  • The Moderna vaccine has EUA for use in people 6 months and older.
    • 1 bivalent dose for everyone 6 years and older
    • 2-dose series of bivalent vaccine for everyone 6 months through 5 years
    • People with compromised immunity and adults 65 years and older may be eligible for additional bivalent doses. See Related Materials on Booster  and Additional Doses.

Please refer to the CDC's Interim Immunization Schedule for more information regarding transition between monovalent and bivalent doses.

  • The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted has EUA for people aged 12 years and older.
    • 2-dose series (two doses, given three to eight weeks apart).
    • In some limited situations, the Novavax booster may be considered for people aged 18 years and older. See Related Materials on Booster  and Additional Doses.

Getting vaccinated is the safest way to protect against the worst outcomes of COVID-19

Since 2020, COVID-19 has caused millions of cases of severe illness, hospitalization, and death in the United States. Studies continue to show that vaccination lowers the risk of severe illness and of developing long COVID. The CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older stay up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine. Find a vaccine or walk-in clinic near you at MyTurn.ca.gov, or call (833) 422-4255. 

How many doses am I eligible for?

All people 6 months and older are recommended to receive at least 1 bivalent dose. Depending on your age and number of prior doses received, you may be eligible for additional doses of COVID-19 bivalent vaccine. People are best protected when they stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination. Find more information under Related Materials at the top of the page or see  the COVID-19 Vaccine Timing (PDF) sheet.

Do I need a booster dose?

Yes! Based on the continued effectiveness of the vaccine to maintain strong immunity against severe illness and death, the FDA has authorized booster doses for eligible age groups. Find more information under Related Materials at the top of the page.

What should I expect from my COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

  • The vaccine will be injected into the muscle of the upper arm or thigh.
  • People have rarely experienced severe health effects after COVID-19 vaccination. You may experience side effects like pain and swelling where the dose was given, or headache, fatigue, and fever. These symptoms should go away in a few days.
  • Once vaccinated, you will be given your vaccine card that outlines what COVID-19 vaccine product you received, the date of vaccination, and the name of the site where the vaccine was given. Continue to bring that card with you during each of your COVID-19 vaccine appointments (to finish your primary series and receive your eligible booster doses). Keep it in a safe place, as proof of vaccination may be required in certain settings. Alternatively, create a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record online through the California Immunization Registry.
  • Finally, enroll in v-safe and share your experience on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

How should I hold my child during vaccination?

Parents and caregivers play an important role when children receive vaccines. A parent's embrace during vaccination may reduce the child's stress and help healthcare provider more easily administer the doses. Learn more on the CDC website.

What safety monitoring happens when COVID-19 vaccines are authorized?

COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. Vaccine safety events are monitored using several surveillance systems, including V-safe, VAERS, and VSD. Thanks to these platforms, we know that the vaccine is an incredibly safe way to protect adults and children against COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines were built from decades of research and followed the same steps as other vaccines to ensure they were safe and effective before being made available to the public. No trial phases were skipped, and all phases were thoroughly evaluated to meet the high standards of safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality of the FDA.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine along with other vaccines?

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu v accine, at the same visit.

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine while I'm pregnant?

Yes. Growing evidence confirms that COVID-19 vaccination before and during pregnancy is safe, effective, and beneficial to both mother and baby. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. When you get vaccinated during pregnancy, the protection you receive from the vaccine is passed on to your baby.

Many recent studies found no differences in pregnancy rates among people who are vaccinated versus people who have not received the vaccine.

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine even if I recently had a COVID-19 infection?

Yes. Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19. The vaccine improves the chances of avoiding the worst outcomes of the virus such as severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Studies have shown that the vaccine can reduce the risk of long COVID and reduces the severity of symptoms if a COVID-19 infection does occur. Following infection, people can receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose when there are no more symptoms, generally about 10 days, or they can choose to delay by three months.

Make Your Appointment Today

Have more questions? Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. Find a vaccine or walk-in clinic near you at MyTurn.ca.gov, or call (833) 422-4255.