Get vaccinated – it’s safe, effective, and free. Vaccination is the most important tool to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Every Californian 12 and up is now eligible for vaccination.
On this page:
- How to get vaccinated
- Who can get vaccinated
- How these vaccines work
- What to expect after vaccination
- Vaccine equity for hardest-hit communities
- Vaccination progress data
- Spread the news about the vaccines
- Questions and answers
How to get vaccinated:
You can also check with your healthcare provider or local pharmacy.
Who can get vaccinated
Any Californian aged 12 and up can get vaccinated, for free.
Your insurance or immigration status does not matter. No one will ask about your immigration status when you get vaccinated.
Vaccinations for kids
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA for kids aged 12 and up. It was found to be safe and effective in protecting children as young as 12 in clinical trials.
How these vaccines work
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity against the virus. That means it is possible you could still get COVID-19 just after vaccination.
What we know
- Vaccinations can prevent nearly all COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths. Post-vaccination cases are extremely rare.
- Vaccinations reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccines are effective against variants of the virus currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.
- People with weakened immune systems, including those who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.
What we’re still learning
- How long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts.
What to expect after vaccination
What you can start to do
Once you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can resume most activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
Read more at the CDC’s When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.
You may have mild side effects
After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building immunity.
- You may have soreness, redness, or swelling where you got your shot
- You may feel tired or have a headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea
Side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. Learn more about Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.
Rare but serious side effects
Rarely, women under 50 who get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have a risk of blood clots with low platelets. This risk is not seen in other COVID-19 vaccines. Read CDPH’s Fact Sheet: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits and Risks.
Myocarditis and pericarditis
Some young people have developed inflammation of heart muscle or membrane after getting a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Despite this, the CDC believes that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks.
Reporting side effects of vaccines
If you have experienced a side effect after COVID-19 vaccination, you can report it to:
When to call the doctor
In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:
- If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
- If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you have a severe reaction, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.
Get a digital copy of your vaccine record
You can now get a digital copy of your vaccination record. This is called the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record. It’s available to you if:
- You got vaccinated in California, and
- Your information matches what is recorded in the state’s immunization systems.
To get your vaccine record:
- Go to myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov
- Enter your:
- Date of birth
- Email or phone number you gave when vaccinated
- Create a four-digit PIN
This digital copy can be used as proof of vaccination.
See Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about your digital vaccine record.
If you have trouble
If you couldn’t get your vaccine record, you may need to correct or add some information. Follow the troubleshooting tips at cdph.ca.gov/covidvaccinerecord.
What might prevent you from getting your COVID-19 vaccination record:
- Your vaccination site does not report to the state’s immunization systems
- Your vaccination site didn’t report your vaccination
- The information you entered doesn’t match your record in the registry
To correct or update your vaccine record, start an online chat with My Turn’s Virtual Assistant.
Read CDPH’s Vaccine Record Guidelines & Standards for more information.
Vaccine equity for hardest-hit communities
The Governor announced seven equity strategies in California’s vaccine rollout to:
- Protect hard-to-reach communities
- Address vaccine questions, and
- Drive innovative efforts in communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
Spread the news about the vaccines
Vaccinate ALL 58 is our state’s awareness campaign. It promotes COVID-19 vaccination in all 58 counties in California.
Share that vaccination against COVID-19 is available and free. Visit the COVID-19 Response Toolkit page to find images and videos you can post on social media.
Commitment to safety and accuracy
California is making sure that the public has accurate information on COVID-19 vaccination.
If you hear vaccine-related rumors online or in your community, share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDPH reviews all emails to this address to better understand vaccine information gaps. They may contact you for more details.