Vaccine Information for the Public

NOTE: Changes to this page will occur as additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. Please check back for updated information.

COVID-19 Vaccine: What do you need to know?

COVID -19 vaccinations can help protect you from getting COVID-19. The vaccines help by making your body to create an immune response without having to experience sickness and without being contagious to others. As vaccines become more available, here are a few things you need to know.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

  • Before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use, clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show that they are safe and effective. In order for the FDA to issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the risks.
  • The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Common side effects of the vaccine include injection site pain, headache, and tiredness. View a full list of side effects:

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Based on current information, COVID-19 Vaccination will:

  • Help prevent you from getting COVID-19
  • Provide a safer way to build protection
  • Be an important tool to help stop the pandemic

Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural immunity for a limited amount of time. however, experts don’t know how long this protection lasts. The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 is greater than any benefits of natural immunity.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.

Continue Safe Habits After Getting Vaccinated

Until everyone is vaccinated, it is still important to follow the recommended safety measures to help stop the spread.

The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, Public Health will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest data.

Frequently Asked Questions

(English|Spanish) [pdf]

Getting vaccinated is important to prevent you from getting sick from COVID-19 and from spreading it to others.

The vaccine works by helping our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. The current vaccines available give our body instructions on how to protect us without getting the illness.

The COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from getting COVID-19 and from spreading it to others.

There are currently 3 vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine

Wait times at vaccine clinics may differ depending on appointments and demand. However, getting vaccinated will only take a few minutes. After receiving the vaccine, individuals must remain on site for 15 minutes to ensure a severe allergic reaction is not experienced.


Tell your vaccine provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any allergies
  • have any history of allergies.
You will be monitored for 15 mins after receiving the vaccination to ensure there is not an allergic reaction.

  • Please delay getting your vaccine if you have a fever or are currently experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, you should get tested.
  • Please delay getting your vaccine if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 and were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.
  • Please contact your healthcare provider to discuss your options if you:
    • Have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
    • Are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
    • Have received another COVID-19 vaccine

According to the CDC, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. Please contact your healthcare provider to discuss your options.

At this time there are no COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for children.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is for individuals aged 16 years and over
  • Moderna vaccine is for individuals aged 18 years and over
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is for individuals aged 18 years and over


Side effects are common after receiving a vaccine. You may have some side effects which means your body is building an immune response.

Common side effects are:

  • Pain and swelling on the arm where you received the shot
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • Body Aches
  • The side effects should go away within a few days.

  • Two doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 21 days apart
  • Two doses for the Moderna vaccine, 28 days apart
  • One dose for the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine
Please refer to your COVID-19 Vaccination Card for the date of your second dose. You should receive your second dose from the same provider as your first dose.

All three vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. All three vaccines are also effective against variants.

No. You cannot get COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine does not contain any COVID-19 virus material or an inactivated COVID-19 virus.

No. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not cause you to test positive on a Viral COVID-19 Test that detects current infection, such as the nasal swab tests.

Yes. After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine it is best to continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing to protect yourself and others.

Yes. At this time, it is not known how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. According to the CDC, if you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

It is your personal choice to receive the vaccine. However, employers may require employees to be vaccinated. Please check with your employer’s Human Resources Department for more specific information.

  • Receiving the vaccine will NOT affect your immigration status
  • U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care, including vaccines, related to COVID-19 as a part of public charge.

If you lose your vaccination card or need a replacement, please contact the vaccine provider. If your vaccine provider was Stanislaus County Public Health, please call the general COVID-19 information line (209) 558-7535.

If you miss the date for your second dose, please contact the vaccine provider. If your vaccine provider was Stanislaus County Public Health, please call the general COVID-19 information line (209) 558-7535.

Helpful Links

Additional Coronavirus Information

Contact Us:
For Public Information: (209) 558-7535
For Hospital & Provider Information: (209) 558-5678

California Department of Public Health
Stigma Related to COVID-19
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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