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When Getting Your Vaccine

Find a Vaccine

Vaccines are widely available. In many cases, you do not need an appointment.

  • The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to everyone ages 5 years and older living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

  • Most people in the United States live within 5 miles of a COVID-19 vaccination location.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster: Search, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Get Vaccinated Even If You Had COVID-19 and Think You are Immune

You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. No currently available test can reliably determine if you are protected after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 provides added protection to your immune system. People who already had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get vaccinated after their recovery.

Routine Medical Procedures and Screenings

Most routine medical procedures and screenings can be performed before or after COVID-19 vaccination. However, if you are due for a mammogram, ask your doctor about when you should get a vaccine. Some experts recommend getting your mammogram before being vaccinated or waiting four to six weeks after getting your shot. People who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can have swelling in the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) in the underarm near where they got the shot. This is more common after booster or additional doses than after the primary vaccination series. It is possible that this swelling could cause a false reading on a mammogram.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about getting vaccinated before or after any routine medical procedures or screenings.

At the Vaccination Site

Before you arrive, contact the site where you will be vaccinated or review your appointment confirmation email for details about your vaccination appointment.

  • When getting a vaccine, you or your child and your healthcare provider will need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Stay 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines. Learn more about protecting yourself when going to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

  • You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you or your child received. Each approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine. Learn more about different COVID-19 vaccines.

  • 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 Who Should Wait to Get Vaccinated

People who are in quarantine

If you are not vaccinated and were exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should wait until your quarantine is over to avoid getting others sick while you get your vaccine. However, you may be able to get a vaccine while in quarantine if you

  • Are at risk for multiple exposures (like living in shared housing),

  • Don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19, and

  • Take precautions to prevent spreading COVID-19.

People who are in isolation

If you currently have COVID-19, you should wait to get your vaccine until

  • Your symptoms are gone (if you had symptoms) and

  • Criteria to discontinue isolation have been met.

People who have had multisystem inflammatory syndrome

If you or your child have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider delaying vaccination until

  • You have recovered from being sick and

  • It has been 90 days since the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C.

Learn more about the clinical considerations for people with a history of MIS-A or MIS-C.

Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma while sick with COVID-19, you do not need to wait before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

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