How do I get a vaccine appointment?
You can also check with your healthcare provider or local pharmacy.
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:
- COVID-19 vaccine authorized for people 12-15 years old
- How to get vaccinated
- How 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
COVID-19 vaccine authorized for people 12-15 years old
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA for people aged 12-15. It was found to be safe and effective in protecting children as young as 12 in clinical trials.
This broader authorization of this COVID-19 vaccine for younger people will help California build on our huge success vaccinating the majority of the population 16 and up. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all Californians, regardless of insurance and immigration status. You will not be asked about your immigration status when you receive the vaccine.
How to get vaccinated
Schedule with My Turn
If appointments are not available, you can sign up to be notified when appointments open up.
Schedule with a local provider
Some local health jurisdictions provide vaccination appointments separately from My Turn.
You can use the CDC’s VaccineFinder tool to find vaccination locations near you.
You should also check with your healthcare provider. They can advise if you can get your vaccination with them, or in another setting.
Walk-ins and second dose vaccine appointments
How vaccines work
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 just after vaccination, because the vaccine has not had enough time to build immunity.
If the vaccine you got requires two shots, be sure to get both doses so it can work fully.
COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials. These vaccines were authorized only after it was found that they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
The authorized vaccines are up to 95% effective against a person becoming ill with COVID-19.
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how the federal government is working to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
Safety monitoring after vaccination
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, using both established and new safety monitoring systems. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. Learn more facts about COVID-19 vaccines.
Results from monitoring efforts are reassuring. Many people have reported only mild side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. Some people have no side effects.
You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine
The vaccines do not contain coronavirus and cannot give you COVID-19.
Benefits of getting vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. But they have other benefits, too:
- In the rare case that you do still get COVID-19, the vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill.
- Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build immunity. COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you.
COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal.
Read more at CDC’s Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.
What to expect after vaccination
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. Your arm may hurt where you got your shot or you may have redness or swelling. You may be tired or have a headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. They 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.
The CDC recommends women younger than 50 years old to be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after taking Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen. Read CDPH’s Fact Sheet: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits and Risks.
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 think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.
What you can do once fully vaccinated
- Spend time with other fully-vaccinated people, even indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Spend time indoors without masks or physical distancing with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Travel domestically without a pre- or post-travel test and without quarantining after travel
- Travel internationally without a pre-travel test (depending on destination) and without quarantining after travel
- Take part in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
- Return to work following an exposure as long as you have no COVID-19 symptoms
- Skip testing if asymptomatic
- Skip quarantining following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Continue to follow the mandatory CDPH face coverings guidance, including wearing a mask and physically distancing in indoor public settings
- Get tested and isolate if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Continue to follow the mandatory CDPH gathering guidance. Avoid large indoor gatherings, especially when they include those who are not fully vaccinated
- Avoid being indoors unmasked with people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households, as permitted by the gathering guidance
- Follow COVID-19 guidance issued by your employer
- Continue to follow the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if they apply at your workplace
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
See the CDPH’s Travel Advisory and COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People for complete details.
Vaccine equity for hardest-hit communities
California is allocating COVID-19 vaccines as they become available to ensure equitable distribution.
We must end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly and effectively as possible by vaccinating those most at risk of serious outcomes and those who have been most exposed at work or in their daily lives. This will protect not just those who are vaccinated, but reduce additional community transmission. By targeting vaccines to those who most need them, we can also begin to safely reopen activities across our economy.
The state will continue to double the amount of vaccine allocated to the lowest HPI quartile as announced on March 4 for at least four weeks starting on March 22.
Currently, the state is directing 40% of vaccine doses to the hardest-hit areas of the state based on the lowest quartile of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Healthy Places Index (HPI).
Spread the news about the vaccines
Vaccinate ALL 58 is our state’s COVID-19 vaccination program for Californians in all 58 counties.
Share that vaccination against COVID-19 is here. Visit the COVID-19 Response Toolkit page to find images and videos you can post on social media.
Questions and answers
Vaccination for children
Vaccines allocation and distribution
What to expect after vaccination
Vaccine committees and workgroups
- CDPH: COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Vaccines
- CDPH: California COVID-19 Vaccination Program
- CDPH: Tracking Variants (The West Coast Strain)
- CDPH: Federal Retail Pharmacy Program – Vaccine Appointments
- CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines
- CDC: Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
- CDC: COVID-19 Vaccination
- CDC: Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People