After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine


  • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you or your child should be monitored on site for at least 15 minutes. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions. ​

  • People may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get helpful tips on how to reduce any pain or discomfort.

  • Ask your vaccination provider about getting started with v-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Parents and guardians can enroll children (ages 5 years and older) or dependents in v-safe and complete health check-ins on their behalf after COVID-19 vaccination. Register or sign into v-safe. Learn more about v-safe.

  • If you are getting a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses, be sure to schedule an appointment for your second shot.

Watch Video: Use v-safe to tell CDC how you’re feeling after COVID-19 vaccination [00:00:34]

Your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card

At the first vaccination appointment, you will get a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination card that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you or your child received, the date you or your child received it, and where you or your child received it.

  • Keep this CDC COVID-19 vaccination card for future use. Consider taking a picture of the card after your or your child’s vaccination appointment as a backup copy.

Learn more about getting a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination card.


Getting Additional Shots

If you received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you need a second shot of the same vaccine to complete the primary series. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccine provider or your doctor tells you not to get it. It takes time for the body to build protection after any vaccination. Most people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or the single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Many people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may need an additional (third) dose to complete their primary vaccine series. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for people who are moderately or severely compromised. Learn about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.


Booster Shot

Everyone ages 12 years and older should get a booster after completing their primary series in order to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. A booster shot enhances or restores protection against COVID-19, which may have decreased over time. Learn when you are eligible for a booster.


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