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"When Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?": A Comprehensive Guide

While we all feel relieved that COVID-19 vaccines have arrived, getting everyone vaccinated who wants to be will be a feat of serious logistics.

Until you get your vaccine - and even after you’re vaccinated - remember to follow CDC guidelines: cover your nose and mouth with a mask in public, avoid crowds, keep at least six feet between you and others and wash your hands often.

About the Vaccines

Distributed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, the first two approved vaccinations are given in two doses, three to four weeks apart. These two shots are not interchangeable, so you shouldn’t get one from each company. Other vaccines, including single shots and vaccines that don’t need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, are currently in" the approval process in the U.S. Once they’re approved, vaccines will be available to more people and places across the country.

Of course, you should check with your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe for you to be vaccinated, or to ask any questions you may have about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

The CDC says that, “all the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible.” Systems that allow CDC to watch for safety issues are in place across the entire country. Serious problems from vaccination can happen, but they are rare. CDC has learned of reports that some people have experienced severe allergic reactions—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.

According to the CDC, the Moderna vaccine is “authorized and recommended for persons 18 years of age and older, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is “authorized and recommended for persons 16 years of age and older.” For more peace of mind, visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on the vaccines.

All vaccines are free, because they were already paid for by the U.S. government. Providers may charge administrative fees, but these will typically be covered by private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or through funds from the CARES Act passed last year.

When Can I Get Vaccinated?

The CDC has determined the order in which people should be vaccinated. Most states are taking a phased approach, and since supplies are currently limited, it’s important to know which phase you’re in. Eligibility, availability of doses and the sign-up process varies from state to state, so we want to give you as many resources as we can to make it as easy as possible for you to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Select the state you live in for more detailed information: