COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Record Replacement Cards:  COVID-19 vaccine record replacement cards can be provided upon request for a $20 fee. Replacement cards cannot be mailed and can be picked up by appointment only. Call (626) 744-6121 to make an appointment.

Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record: Your Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record is an electronic vaccination record drawn from the data stored in the California immunization registry. Fill out the required fields to get a digital record: https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/.

COVID-19 Vaccination Record via Email: Request vaccination record from the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) by completing the online form: https://cairforms.cairweb.org/AuthorizationToRelease/AuthorizationToRelease. Records will be emailed at no cost and may take up to 2-3 weeks. A valid email and photo ID are required to complete the request.

From the start of the pandemic, data and science have guided Pasadena’s response to COVID-19. That continues to be true when it comes to vaccines.

All vaccines used in the U.S. are required to go through extensive safety testing before they are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or recommended for widespread use.

Four COVID-19 vaccines have received emergency authorization for use in the U.S. and are available at NO COST to you. All vaccines are highly effective at preventing disease. The vaccines are reactogenic, which means they can cause sore arm, fatigue, headache, and even low-grade fever that lasts one or two days. These reactions indicate that the immune system is responding and the vaccine is working.

Pasadena continues to distribute and administer vaccine doses as quickly and as equitably as possible. Click the links below for more information about each vaccine:

On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 6 months through 15 years of age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) for moderately and severely immunocompromised people after an initial 2-dose primary mRNA vaccine series at least 4 weeks (28 days), because people with compromised immune systems may have a reduced ability to respond to vaccines, including COVID-19. An additional vaccine dose is not currently recommended by the CDC for immunocompromised persons who received a single dose of the J&J vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health recommend a booster dose for fully vaccinated adults. Everyone ages 5 years and older who received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine five months ago or ages 18 and older the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago can get the booster of their choice. Individuals ages 50 years and older or ages 12 and older who are moderately and severely immunocompromised are eligible to receive a second booster 4 months after the first booster

CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) vaccines. Learn more about the updated guidance on the use of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine

The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is now administering first and second  booster doses. Register for an appointment on MyTurn.CA.gov. For assistance in registering for an appointment, contact the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311. At PPHD COVID-19 vaccine clinics, individuals will need to bring proof of previous vaccination history, which for most people will be in the form of the white vaccination card, or a photo of the white card, or a digital record.

Where can I get the vaccine?

All Californians age 6 months and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Pasadena residents should first contact their healthcare provider or local pharmacy for vaccine availability. For more information , visit the CDC Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children.

You can also visit MyTurn.ca.gov to view a list of Pasadena and other nearby locations offering COVID-19 vaccinations and schedule a vaccine appointment. A parent/legal guardian must accompany minors to their vaccine appointment to provide consent. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna vaccine are the only COVID-19 vaccines authorized for people age 6 months and older. Anyone who does not have internet access or who needs assistance scheduling an appointment on the MyTurn website can contact our Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311 Monday - Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Minors must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian.

If you are a healthcare worker, contact your employer. If you are a long-term care facility resident, contact your caretaker.

See "Find A Vaccine Site" for COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Pasadena.

The Pasadena Public Health Department is now administering additional doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals  in accordance with recent CDC recommendations. Talk to your healthcare provider to confirm eligibility. You will be asked to self-attest to eligibility upon registration for an appointment on MyTurn.CA.gov.

The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is now administering booster doses. You will be asked to self-attest to eligibility upon registration for an appointment on MyTurn.CA.gov. For assistance in registering for an appointment, contact the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311. At PPHD COVID-19 vaccine clinics, individuals will need to bring proof that they have previously completed a primary vaccination series, which for most people will be in the form of the white vaccination card, or a photo of the white card, or a digital record.

Check your local pharmacy for availability of booster doses.

Keep checking back for additional provider listings. New locations will be added as they become available.

Appointment Type: Walk-In means you don't need to pre-register for this clinic, but you will have to register on-site. Pre-Registration means you can register for an appointment time using the link/phone number provided in the Register at/Additional Information field.

LocationDateDay(s)TimeVaccine TypeAgeAddressAppointment TypesRegister atAdditional Informationvax_type_hfiltervax_age_hfiltervax_days_hfilterappointment_type_hfilter
Rite-Aid PharmacyDailyJohnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer12+Multiple LocationsBooster, Pre-Registration, Walk-Inwww.riteaid.com/pharmacy/covid-qualifierjohnson-johnson moderna pfizer12dailybooster pre-registration walk-in
Vons PharmacyDailyJohnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer5+Multiple LocationsBooster, Pre-Registration, Walk-Inwww.vons.com/pharmacy/covid-19.htmljohnson-johnson moderna pfizer5dailybooster pre-registration walk-in
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 13, 2022Tue8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer5+1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer5tuepre-registration walk-in
Walgreens PharmacyDailyPfizer5+Multiple LocationsBooster, Pre-Registration, Walk-Inwww.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/covid-vaccine.jsppfizer5dailybooster pre-registration walk-in
Ralphs PharmacyDailyModerna, Pfizer5+Multiple LocationsBooster, Pre-Registration, Walk-Inwww.ralphs.com/rx/covid-eligibilitymoderna pfizer5dailybooster pre-registration walk-in
Pavilions PharmacyDailyJohnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer12+Multiple LocationsPre-Registration, Walk-Inwww.pavilions.com/pharmacy/covid-19.htmljohnson-johnson moderna pfizer12dailypre-registration walk-in
CVS PharmacyDailyModerna18+Multiple LocationsPre-Registrationwww.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccinemoderna18dailypre-registration
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 28, 2022Wed2-4:30 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer6 months to 5 years1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer6-months-to-5-yearswedpre-registration walk-in
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 21, 2022Wed2-4:30 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer6 months to 5 years1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer6-months-to-5-yearswedpre-registration walk-in
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 27, 2022Tue8:30a.m.-4 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer5+1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer5tuepre-registration walk-in
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 7, 2022Wed2-4:30 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer6 months to 5 years1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer6-months-to-5-yearswedpre-registration walk-in
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 14, 2022Wed2-4:30 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer6 months to 5 years1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer6-months-to-5-yearswedpre-registration walk-in
Pasadena Public Health DepartmentSeptember 20, 2022Tue8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.Moderna, Pfizer5+1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave.Pre-Registration, Walk-InMyTurn.ca.govmoderna pfizer5tuepre-registration walk-in

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for four COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with COVID-19.

California has its own Scientific Safety Review Workgroup comprised of immunization, public health, academic and other experts who are vetting vaccine safety. The Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has confirmed that the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax vaccines have met high standards for safety and efficacy. View the Emergency Use Authorizations:

On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

For additional information on vaccine safety, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html. If you have already received a COVID-19 vaccine, you can register for V-safe to share any side effects you experienced with the CDC and also get reminders if you need a second vaccine dose.

Fully vaccinated individuals should continue wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and medium- and large-sized gatherings until the vaccine has been widely distributed.

How the Vaccines Work

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA (or mRNA) vaccines
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is found in all living cells. mRNA vaccines work by teaching cells how to make a protein or a piece of a protein that triggers an immune response inside the body. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects against infection if an individual is exposed to the virus.

mRNA is not the same as DNA, and it cannot combine with our DNA to change our genetic code. It is also relatively fragile, and will only hang around inside a cell for about 72 hours, before being degraded. mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with DNA in any way. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where DNA (genetic material) is stored.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine
Viral vector vaccines use a vector (not the virus that causes COVID-19, but a different, harmless virus) to deliver important instructions to our cells to make a small fragment of the COVID-19 virus called the spike protein, which triggers an immune response. Viral vector vaccines do not alter your DNA in any way.

The Novavax protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine
Protein subunit vaccines contain pieces (proteins) of the virus that causes COVID-19. These virus pieces are the spike protein. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine contains another ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to that spike protein. After learning how to respond to the spike protein, the immune system will be able to respond quickly to the actual virus spike protein and protect you against COVID-19.

 

Why is vaccination important?

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent disease. Vaccines save millions of lives each year. When we get vaccinated, we aren’t just protecting ourselves, but also those around us.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Systems that allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to watch for safety issues are in place across the entire country.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to meet rigorous safety criteria and be effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. Clinical trials for all vaccines must first show they meet rigorous criteria for safety and effectiveness before any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine.

On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 6 months through 15 years of age.

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine will I need?

The number of doses needed depends on which vaccine you receive. To get the most protection and to be up to date with vaccines, be fully vaccinated and get a booster shot. For more information, visit the CDC.

Primary Series

  • Two Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
  • Two Moderna vaccine doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart.
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine requires only one dose.
  • Two Novavax vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart

If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

Booster Doses

  • Everyone ages 5+ who received Pfizer or Moderna should get a booster dose at least 5 months after the last dose in their primary series.
  • Everyone who received J&J/Janssen should get a booster dose at least 2 months after the first dose of J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals ages 10 years and older who received two J&J/Janssen doses may get a second booster.
  • Second booster is only eligible to ages 50 years and older or 12 years and older who are moderately and severely immunocompromised. The second booster can only be a mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) vaccine.

Get information on staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

Are booster shots available in Pasadena?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health recommend a booster dose for fully vaccinated people. Everyone ages 5 and older who received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine five months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago can get the booster of their choice. 

The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is now administering booster doses. Register for an appointment on MyTurn.CA.gov. For assistance in registering for an appointment, contact the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311. At PPHD COVID-19 vaccine clinics, individuals will need to bring proof of previous vaccination history, which for most people will be in the form of the white vaccination card, or a photo of the white card, or a digital record.

Check your local pharmacy for availability of booster doses.

On September 1, 2022, the CDC issued new recommendations for COVID-19 boosters, after the FDA authorized updated booster formulas from both Pfizer and Moderna. The CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible stay up-to-date on vaccinations by getting an updated booster dose at least 2 months after their last COVID-19 shot—either since their last booster dose, or since completing their primary series. Pfizer’s updated booster shot is recommended for individuals 12 and older, and Moderna’s updated booster shot is recommended for adults 18 and older.

These new boosters contain an updated bivalent formula that both boosts immunity against the original coronavirus strain and also protects against the newer Omicron variants that account for most of the current cases. Updated boosters are intended to provide optimal protection against the virus and address waning vaccine effectiveness over time.

Eligible individuals can get either the Pfizer or Moderna updated booster, regardless of whether their primary series or most recent dose was with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As per the CDC’s recommendations, the new bivalent booster replaces the existing monovalent vaccine booster, therefore that vaccine will no longer be authorized for use as booster doses in people age 12 and up.

The CDC recommends that everyone age 12 and up should get an updated COVID-19 booster this fall to stay up-to-date on vaccinations. The same is true for people who completed their primary series or received one or two boosters: they should get an updated booster dose at least two months after their last shot.

For maximum effectiveness of the updated booster dose, individuals who recently had COVID-19 may consider delaying any COVID-19 vaccination, including the updated booster dose, by 3 months from the start of their symptoms or positive test.

Can I get the updated COVID-19 booster if I haven’t been vaccinated yet?

No. The updated bivalent formula is in use only for COVID-19 booster doses, and not for initial vaccination. The best way to protect yourself from getting severely ill from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends that currently unvaccinated people get their primary series (the initial two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of the Novavax vaccine), and then wait at least two months to get the updated Pfizer or Moderna booster dose.

What’s the status for booster doses for children under 12?

As of September 1, 2022, updated Pfizer booster doses are authorized for individuals age 12 and older. The CDC continues to recommend that children age 5 and up get a booster dose at least 5 months after completing their primary series. For this younger age group (children 5-12), the original booster dose formula is still authorized for use.

As scientific experts at the FDA and CDC continue to review the data, updated Omicron-specific boosters could become available for younger children in the future.

Are additional doses available in Pasadena?

The CDC recommends an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose for moderately and severely immunocompromised people after an initial 2-dose primary mRNA vaccine series no sooner than 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Those who believe they qualify for a third dose should speak to their healthcare provider to confirm their eligibility and get vaccinated.

  • An additional vaccine dose is currently recommended by the CDC for immunocompromised persons who received a single dose of the J&J vaccine.
  • Other fully-vaccinated persons are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose nor a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time.

People with compromised immune systems may have a reduced ability to respond to vaccines, including COVID-19. New data show that a third dose of the mRNA vaccines helps to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine for this group. The need for this third dose is not due to a waning effect of the two-dose regimen.

For additional information, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.

The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is now administering additional doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals in accordance with recent CDC recommendations. Talk to your healthcare provider to confirm eligibility. You will be asked to self-attest to eligibility on MyTurn.CA.gov if your provider confirms eligibility for an additional dose.

What is the PPHD doing to support the delivery of boosters to skilled nursing facilities?

Starting in September 2021, most Pasadena residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) became eligible for COVID-19 boosters.  PPHD began communicating and offering SNF residents and staff COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as soon as recommended by the CDC. The State Health Officer Order requires all the staff who are healthcare workers in SNFs to be up to date on vaccinations, including a booster shot. Those who are eligible can receive a second booster.

The California Department of Public Health and the LA County Department Health Facilities Inspection Division are the agencies that license and regulate SNFs. They have asked SNFs to track and report vaccination rates of staff and residents.  In addition, for purposes of infection prevention and control, PPHD has required that SNFs track and report COVID-19 vaccination rates of staff and residents. PPHD staff have provided intensive technical assistance to the physicians, nurses and administrators legally and ethically responsible for the medical care of these SNF residents, including delivering prepared COVID-19 vaccine doses to SNFs, cross-referencing facility and immunization registry records to identify residents eligible for boosters but not yet boosted, and verifying vaccination rates reported by SNFs.

How do vaccines work?

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce antibodies after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

Will a COVID-19 vaccination prevent me from getting sick with COVID-19?

Unvaccinated people account for the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.

People who are fully vaccinated and boosted are much less likely to be infected with COVID-19 and much less likely to spread the virus to others. Some evidence suggests that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who experience a breakthrough infection and get sick.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, am I protected by infection-induced immunity, or do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

You should get a COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster, even if you already had COVID-19.

Getting sick with COVID-19 offers some protection from future illness with COVID-19, called infection-induced immunity. The level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age. No currently available test can reliably determine if a person is protected from infection.

All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 even in people who have already been sick with COVID-19.

Emerging evidence shows that getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection to your immune system. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.

Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of infection-induced immunity.

CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible persons, including those who have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Can I get vaccinated with COVID-19 while I am sick with COVID-19?

No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for ending isolation. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 between their first and second dose. Those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated.

People who have had a known COVID-19 exposure should not seek vaccination until their quarantine period has ended to avoid potentially exposing healthcare personnel and others during the vaccination visit. This recommendation also applies to people with a known COVID-19 exposure who have received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine but not their second.

Will I have to pay to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Your doctor or pharmacy may charge an administration fee for giving the vaccine, but it should be covered by public and private insurance companies. There are no out-of-pocket payments, and no one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee.

People without health insurance can get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost regardless of immigration or citizenship status. You will not be asked about your immigration or citizenship status at your vaccination appointment.

Do I need to have a scheduled appointment in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Most vaccine providers do allow walk-ins, but appointments are encouraged. View a list of local vaccine providers and vaccine distribution sites for details.

How do I schedule a vaccination appointment?

Visit MyTurn.ca.gov to view a list of Pasadena and other nearby locations offering COVID-19 vaccinations and schedule a vaccine appointment. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are the only COVID-19 vaccines authorized for people under 18. A parent/legal guardian must complete the MyTurn online vaccine registration form for minors. Anyone who does not have internet access or who needs assistance scheduling an appointment using the MyTurn website can contact our Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311 Monday - Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

You should get any COVID-19 vaccine that is available when you are eligible. Do not wait for a specific brand. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and the CDC recommends mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). All vaccines are safe and effective.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine available to children?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children ages 6 months and up. Pasadena residents should first contact their healthcare provider or local pharmacy for vaccine availability. For more information , visit the CDC Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children.

Can you get COVID-19 from a vaccine?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the United States have the virus that causes COVID-19 in them. Sometimes people get a fever or feel tired for a day or so after getting a vaccine. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. It usually takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. If a person got infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after they got a shot they could still get COVID-19. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Are there side effects of COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Common side effects include pain on the arm where you get the shot, fever, chills, tiredness or headache. If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Will getting the vaccine cause me to test positive on a COVID-19 test?

No. Vaccines won’t cause you to test positive on a viral test (like the swab test) that looks for current COVID-19 infection. You may test positive on some antibody tests. This is because one of the ways that vaccines work is to teach your body to make antibodies.

Can I get COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective. However, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” This means that while people who have been vaccinated are far less likely to get sick, it may still happen.

What if I’m allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine/have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines?

The three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States do not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex. For a full list of ingredients, please see each vaccine’s Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers:

The CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies—get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated. If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

Why do we need a vaccine if we can do other things, like social distance and wear masks?

We need to do as much as we can to stop the pandemic. Vaccines boost your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help lower your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Together, these tools offer the best protection from COVID-19.

How soon can I stop wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing after getting vaccinated? Is wearing a mask outside necessary?

In general, when able to physically distance from others, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. You should still wear a mask outdoors at crowded events or venues when you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccination or are unable to physically distance from others, and if you are at an outdoor mega event and you are required.

Everyone is required to wear masks in Pasadena in/on:

  • Public transit
  • Healthcare settings (including long term care facilities)
  • Adult and senior care facilities
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers

After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, take these steps to protect yourself and others:

For additional information on types of masks, the most effective masks, and ensuring a well-fitted mask, individuals should refer to CDPH Get the Most out of Masking and see CDPH Masking Guidance Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Should I get a flu shot?

Yes! It is likely that the viruses that cause influenza (flu) and COVID-19 will both be spreading this winter. A flu shot only protects you from the flu, but at least it means you won’t run the risk of getting flu and COVID-19 at the same time. This can keep you from having a more severe illness. Getting a flu vaccine now is more important than ever. If you are likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine soon, ask your doctor about the best time to get the flu shot. This is because the two vaccines may have to be given several weeks apart.