Join the 98% of people who finished their COVID-19 vaccine dose series! Being fully vaccinated offers the best protection from the COVID-19 virus and its variants.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Second Dose of COVID-19
- How do I get the vaccine?
Find a vaccine at Vaccine Locator or call 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357), then press # (language assistance is available). Search or ask for the same type (brand) of the vaccine as your received for the first dose.
You can also text your ZIP code to 438-829 (GET VAX) or 822-862 (VACUNA) for vaccine locations near you.
If you or someone you know is homebound, fill out a secure online form. Your answers will allow us to connect individuals to available County and/or State Mobile Vaccine Teams.
- Do I have to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both two doses. If you get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you will need to get your second dose to get maximum protection against COVID-19.
The Johnson & Johnson-Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a single-dose vaccine. You do not need to go back for a second dose.
- If I'm late for my second dose, do I need to restart the vaccine series?
No. If you are late for your second dose you do not need to restart the vaccine series.
Get the second dose as soon as possible after the recommended number of days have passed since your first dose (21 days for Pfizer, 28 days for Moderna). The second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be given up to 6 weeks or 42 days after the first dose.
We don't know the effectiveness of second doses given beyond these 6 weeks, but that doesn't mean they are not effective. It's just that we haven't studied this yet. It's important to get both doses no matter how far apart you end up getting the second dose.
- What is a vaccination record card?
You should receive a paper vaccination record card when you get your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This card will tell you which type of vaccine you got (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) and the date you received it.
If you got the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, your provider should book your second-dose appointment for you while you're in for your first dose. Keep this card with you so your vaccine provider can complete it after your second dose.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one dose, so you will not need to schedule a follow-up.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to handling your vaccination card:
- Keep your vaccination card between doses and afterwards.
- DO take photos of the front and back of your card to have a digital copy handy.
- Consider e-mailing it to yourself, creating an album, or adding a tag to the photo so you can find it again easily.
- DO take a photocopy if you want to carry one with you.
You can still get your second dose even if you don't bring your record card to your appointment. Ask your provider to look up the type (brand) of vaccine you received for your first dose to ensure you get the same type again.
If you lose your record card, log in to MyIR (“My Immunization Registry”) to look up your COVID-19 vaccination record, and then take a screenshot or photo of the information. If you do not have an account, you can sign up for MyIR any time.
Please keep in mind that verification to your records through MyIR may not be immediate, and access is currently limited to English language only. Live telephone assistance is available to help with MyIRmobile or vaccination record questions by calling the Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 833-VAX-HELP or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do I need to get my second dose at the same clinic where I got my first dose?
No, you do not need to get your second dose at the same clinic where you got your first dose. However, you must get the same type (brand) of vaccine for both doses.
Find a vaccine at Vaccine Locator or call 1-800-525-0127, then press # (language assistance is available). Search or ask for the same type (brand) of the vaccine as your received for the first dose.
- Do I need to get the same type (brand) for my second dose as I got for my first dose?
Yes, you must get the same type (brand) for both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. When scheduling an appointment, search or ask for the same type of the vaccine as you received for the first dose. The type of vaccine you got is recorded on your vaccination card.
- What types of symptoms are normal after receiving the vaccine?
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson – Janssen COVID-19 vaccines
Like other routine vaccines, the most common side effects are a sore arm, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.
These symptoms are a sign that the vaccine is working. In the Pfizer and Moderna trials, these side effects occurred most often within two days of getting the vaccine, and lasted about a day. Side effects were more common after the second dose than the first dose. In the Johnson & Johnson clinical trials, side effects lasted an average of one to two days.
For all three vaccines, people over 55 were less likely to report side effects than younger people.
Clinical trials found that approximately:
- Eighty percent of people reported pain at the injection site
- Fifty percent of people reported fatigue and headache
- Thirty percent of people reported muscle pain
- Ninety percent of people reported pain at the injection site
- Seventy percent of people reported fatigue and headache
- Sixty percent of people reported muscle pain
Johnson & Johnson
- Sixty percent of people reported pain at the injection site
- Forty-five percent of people reported fatigue and headache
- Forty percent of people reported muscle pain
You may see some rumors about untrue side effects online or on social media. Make sure any time you see a claim about a side effect that you check the source of that claim. This video can teach you more about how to figure out if a claim online is true or not.
- What happens if I get sick after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you experience a medical emergency after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have other concerns about symptoms of side effects, please contact your health care provider.
If you get sick after getting the vaccine, you should report the adverse event to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). An “adverse event” is any health problem or side effect that happens after a vaccination.
- Who should NOT get a second dose?
There are very few situations where a health care provider will not recommend a second dose. If you had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or other serious sides effect after your first dose, talk to your health care provider about whether the second dose is right for you. Find more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's: Answering Patients' Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.
- What happens if I get COVID-19 after my first dose? Should I still get my second dose?
Yes, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends anyone who previously had COVID-19 to get the vaccine. Data shows it is uncommon to be re-infected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after you were infected, so you might have some protection (called natural immunity). However, we don't know how long natural immunity might last. You should wait to get vaccinated until after you feel better and your isolation period is finished, if possible.