COVID-19 Vaccine Information

CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older should get an updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine. 

February 28, 2024 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend adults ages 65 years and older receive an additional updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine dose. The recommendation acknowledges the increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19 in older adults, along with the currently available data on vaccine effectiveness.

People who are up to date have lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 than people who are unvaccinated or who have not completed the doses recommended for them by CDC.

The Washington State Department of Health is currently updating webpages and documents to align with the most recent CDC guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? 

The COVID-19 vaccines can protect you in many ways:

  • They greatly reduce your chance of getting seriously ill if you get COVID-19
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines reduces your chances of hospitalization and lowers your risk of dying from COVID-19
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines lowers your chances of developing Long COVID. 
  • Vaccinations increase the number of people in the community who are protected, making it harder for the disease to spread
  • Experts continue to study the ability of the vaccine to keep people from spreading the virus to others. 

People who aren’t vaccinated can still catch the virus and spread it to others. Some people can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons, and this leaves them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. If you aren’t vaccinated, you are also at higher risk of being hospitalized or dying from a variant. Getting vaccinated helps protect you and your family, neighbors, and community.

Where do I get the vaccine? 

Find a vaccine at Vaccine Locator or

Is there a cost for COVID-19 vaccines?

Like other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines will likely be covered by most insurance plans. COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available at no cost to all children in Washington state until their 19th birthday through the Vaccines for Children program. There are also programs for adults that can help cover costs of getting vaccinated if they don’t have health insurance or their plan doesn’t cover the vaccine. Visit for more information on these programs.

What is the Bridge access program? Can I still receive a COVID-19 vaccine if I don’t have insurance?

The Bridge Access Program temporarily provides updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to an estimate 25-30 million adults aged 19 and older without health insurance, or whose insurance does not cover all COVID-19 costs, through December 2024.
To find a participating pharmacy location in this program, visit

Who should get an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine? 

CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get at least one dose of updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Children 6 months-4 years may need multiple doses depending on the previous number of doses received. 
  • People 65 years old and older should receive an additional dose of 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine at least four months since their previous dose. 
  • Some people who are immunocompromised may be eligible for additional doses. Please review the CDC guidelines.
When am I considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccination? 

You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination if you have received the most recent dose recommended for you by CDC.

What happens if I get sick after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

It's normal to have some side effects after getting the vaccine. This can be a sign that the vaccine is working. If you experience a medical emergency after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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.

For more information about VAERS and vaccine safety, visit DOH’s Vaccine Safety webpage. 

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine when I get routine vaccinations?

Yes. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) changed their recommendations on May 12, 2021. You can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time that you get other vaccines.

You do not need to schedule your child's required school vaccinations or other recommended vaccines separately from COVID-19 vaccination. A COVID-19 vaccine appointment is another opportunity to get your child caught up on all of their recommended vaccines.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant, lactating or planning to become pregnant?

Yes, data show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for people who are pregnant, lactating, or planning to get pregnant.

Some studies show that if you are vaccinated, your baby may even get antibodies against COVID-19 through pregnancy and lactation. Unvaccinated pregnant people who get COVID-19 are at increased risk of severe complications like preterm birth or stillbirth. In addition, people who get COVID-19 while pregnant are two to three times more likely to need advanced life support and a breathing tube.

For more resources about getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant and breastfeeding, please see up to date information on the One Vax, Two Lives website. 

Can people under age 18 get the vaccine?

Yes, the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine brands are authorized for children ages 6 months and older. The Novavax vaccine is available for ages 12+ under an EUA. Youth who are under 18 years of age may need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine, unless they are legally emancipated.

Check with the vaccine clinic about their requirements for showing proof of parental consent or legal emancipation.

Why should I be concerned about my child getting COVID-19?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 15 million children in the United States have gotten COVID-19. New COVID-19 variants are currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States.

While COVID-19 is often milder in children than adults, children can still get very sick and spread it to friends and family who are immunocompromised or vulnerable in other ways. Half of reported pediatric COVID-19 deaths in the United States were in children with no underlying health conditions.
Children who are infected with COVID-19 can develop “Long COVID-19” or persistent symptoms that often include brain fog, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and shortness of breath. Vaccination is the best way to keep kids healthy and safe.

 Children who get infected with COVID-19 may be at greater risk for Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. While it is still unknown what causes MIS-C, many children with MIS-C had COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.

How do we know that the vaccines are safe and effective for children?

To make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, CDC expanded and strengthened the country’s ability to monitor vaccine safety. As a result, vaccine safety experts can monitor and detect issues that may not have been seen during the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

My question wasn't answered here. How can I find out more?

General questions can be sent to

Resources and Recommendations

Find additional resources and recommendations. For vaccine-specific information, choose the vaccine tab. Some resources in many languages.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

DOH Information for Health Care Providers