COVID-19 vaccines continue to be remarkably effective in reducing the risk of severe disease and hospitalization, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Visit My Turn or your county’s vaccine information website to make an appointment at state- and county-run vaccination clinics and major pharmacy chains. Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses and two appointments. This information will be frequently updated as details continue to evolve.
All Californians Age 12 and Older are Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Any Californian ages 12 and up can get vaccinated, for free.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA for kids ages 12 and up. It was found to be safe and effective in protecting children as young as 12 in clinical trials. Read more in California’s vaccination plan.
You can make your appointment directly through:
The California Department of Public Health site, MyTurn
Your county’s vaccine website
Please click the links below for your county’s most up-to-date vaccination guidelines and information.
- San Francisco County
- Alameda County
- Contra Costa County
- Marin County
- San Mateo County
- Santa Clara County
- Solano County
- Sonoma County
One of the following pharmacies
Get a free ride to your vaccination
Can’t get to a clinic due to health or transportation issues? Let MyTurn.ca.gov know you need help when you register, and an in-home visit or transportation will be arranged for you.
The San Francisco public transit agency is also providing free MUNI and paratransit rides to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The offer is good for trips to any vaccination site. You will have to show your vaccination card or proof of your appointment (such as an email or text confirmation) when you board.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the current vaccines?
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both vaccines are administered as two doses given 3-4 weeks apart. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people ages 18 and over and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people ages 12 and over. More vaccines are in development.
Are the vaccines safe?
Both vaccines were found to be safe and effective in tens of thousands of adults who participated in clinical trials. Plus, before any vaccine can be administered in California, it must receive authorization from multiple levels of government, including the FDA and the California Department of Public Health.
In August 2021, The FDA gave formal approval to the Pfizer vaccine. For FDA approval, the manufacturer must submit a biological license application. An independent scientific review is conducted, and there must be substantial evidence of safety, effectiveness and whether the manufacturing and facility data will ensure product quality and safety. For approval, the FDA was requiring 6 months of safety monitoring and follow-up after completion of the clinical trial.
Are there side effects?
Most who receive the vaccine do not experience side effects, though a small fraction reported mild to severe side effects that can include aches and flu-like symptoms that typically last a day. These experiences are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and mounting a potent response that will provide long-lasting immunity.
Am I protected as soon as I receive the vaccine?
No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will not provide their maximum protection against COVID-19 until at least a week after the second dose. However, because the coronavirus will remain a threat to public health for many months, and because no vaccine is 100 percent effective, you should continue to follow all public health guidance related to COVID-19, including wearing a mask, physically distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding all non-essential travel and gatherings.
Should people who have already had COVID-19 get the vaccine?
Yes, but you should wait until after you’ve fully recovered and should not receive the vaccine while you are actively infected. People who have had COVID-19 may develop some immunity against the coronavirus, but this immunity is highly variable and may not last long. The vaccine can help protect against COVID-19 re-infection.
Who is eligible for a booster shot?
Booster shots have not yet been approved for people with healthy immune systems. (Booster shots – which help to maximize and extend the protection that the COVID-19 vaccine provides – are different from an “additional dose” of the vaccine, which was recently approved for immunocompromised patients. See details in the next question.) Although CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, HHS has announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall.
Who is eligible for a third dose of the vaccine?
Moderately to severely immunocompromised patients who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get a third dose, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A third dose can provide additional protection to those who didn’t fully respond to the initial two doses. Check with your county’s vaccine website or find an appointment for a third dose at MyTurn.ca.gov.
- California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Website
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- COVID-19 testing: Where and when to get tested