FAQs

FAQs

Find frequently asked questions about:

Contact Us

  • Call the Health Department at 802-863-7240 (toll-free 833-722-0860). We’re ready to respond to COVID-19 health-related questions. Calls are answered Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Send the Health Department an email at AHS.VDHPublicCommunication@vermont.gov.
  • For vaccine registration, call 855-722-7878, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • For general questions (not health-related) dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-652-4636.

FIND MORE information

About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Are the vaccines safe? Do they work?

Yes. The vaccines are safe and they work. They are highly effective at protecting you against the worst effects of COVID-19, including severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting vaccinated also helps reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.

Millions of people have been vaccinated safely, and the vaccines are working. Studies show them to be effective in real-world settings in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. Current data continue to show that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and continue to provide protection. The CDC expects the current vaccines to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.

Over time, protection from the vaccines can decrease. That is why booster shots are recommended for everyone age 12 and older and additional doses are recommended for people who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Learn more about booster shots and additional doses.

Learn more from the CDC about how: 

Are the vaccines effective against the variants of the COVID-19 virus?

Yes. Current data continue to show that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and continue to protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death, even against the variants circulating in the United States. The CDC expects the current vaccines to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. While infections in fully vaccinated people do happen, most cases are mild, which means that the vaccines are working as they should.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others against the virus and its variants. It’s still important for every Vermonter to get protected as soon as possible. Get vaccinated, get your kids age 5 and older vaccinated, and get your booster shot as soon as you are eligible. Also, there is evidence that people who were infected with the original strain of the COVID-19 virus early in the pandemic are not as protected from getting infected again unless they are vaccinated.

Viruses are constantly changing and new types of the virus, called variants, occur. Right now, Omicron and Delta are the variants of concern in the United States. The first case of the Omicron variant in Vermont was confirmed on December 18. Getting vaccinated also helps slow the spread of the virus in our communities. The less a virus spreads, the fewer chances it has to change into different variants.

Global research is finding that the Omicron variant spreads faster and more efficiently than Delta, which is responsible for the current surge in cases and hospitalizations in Vermont and elsewhere. The CDC expects that anyone who is infected with the Omicron variant can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

The Health Department detects any potential variants of concern through genetic sequencing of certain viral specimens. Find more information on the variants in Vermont.

Learn more from the CDC about COVID-19 variants

What does being fully vaccinated mean?

You are fully vaccinated 14 days after you received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This is because it takes time for the vaccine to train your body to fight COVID-19. You are still considered fully vaccinated even if you choose not to get a booster shot when you are eligible for one.

However, you are not fully protected from COVID-19 until you get your booster shot. Booster shots are recommended for everyone age 12 and older and additional doses are recommended for people who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Learn more about booster shots and additional doses.

Cases of COVID-19 in Vermont remain high, in large part because of more contagious variants that are circulating. This means everyone should follow these basic prevention steps:

  • Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible (anyone age 5 or older).
  • Get your booster shot (age 12 or older).
  • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms, may be a close contact, or have taken part in activities that could put you at risk, such as large gatherings or travel.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public settings.
  • Take care when getting together.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Get your flu shot.

If you are fully vaccinated and are now a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you may need to get tested and quarantine. Learn more about what to do if you are a close contact

Health care settings may follow separate guidance. Read CDC's guidance for health care workers. 

Be sure to carry your COVID-19 vaccination card with you in case a business or venue asks to see it.

Learn more about how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Is it possible to get COVID-19 even if I’m fully vaccinated?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness, including hospitalization and death. Most people who get COVID-19 are unvaccinated. But no vaccine is 100% effective. That means some people who are vaccinated will get COVID-19. This is called a “vaccine breakthrough.” This happens with any vaccine including measles, mumps, flu and others.

If you are fully vaccinated and get COVID-19, you are much less likely to get very sick, be hospitalized or die. However, you can be contagious. The CDC expects that anyone who is infected with the Omicron variant can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

In general, if there more people have COVID-19, there will be more vaccine breakthrough infections. However, your risk of infection, hospitalization, and death are much lower if you are vaccinated. That is why everyone should get vaccinated, get your kids age 5 and older vaccinated, and get your booster shot as soon as you are eligible.

The COVID-19 Data Summaries include a section on fully vaccinated Vermonters who got infected with COVID-19.

Community Immunity

Vaccine protection is more than one person being vaccinated. The more virus going around in the community, the higher your chances of coming into close contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19. When enough people in a community are protected against a contagious disease, it becomes harder for it to spread. It is this "community immunity" that helps protect us all from getting sick.

Learn more from the CDC about the possibility of COVID-19 illness after vaccinatio

Top of page


Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

What do I need to know before getting my vaccine?
  • If you are sick, even with a mild illness, you should not get vaccinated. Stay home and get tested for COVID-19.
  • If you currently have COVID-19, please wait until you have recovered before getting vaccinated. 
  • If you had COVID-19, you can get vaccinated once you have fully recovered.
  • If you had monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as part of COVID-19 treatment, wait for at least 90 days before getting the vaccine to avoid interfering with your treatment.
  • If you are under quarantine, you can leave quarantine to get your vaccine, but if you have symptoms, stay home and get tested for COVID-19. 
  • If you have COVID-19 and are in isolation, you will need to wait to get your vaccine until you are able to end your isolation.
  • You can get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same time.
  • You do not need to get tested for COVID-19 before getting the vaccine, unless you have symptoms. Then stay home and get tested for COVID-19.
  • If you are getting a booster, second or additional dose, remember to bring your vaccine card.
I have a medical condition? Should I get the vaccine?

In clinical studies, COVID-19 vaccines were just as effective for people with and without medical conditions. In fact, people with some conditions are more likely to get very sick if they get COVID-19, so getting vaccinated could be even more important.

If you are unsure if you should get the vaccine, talk to your health care provider about any conditions you have. If you do not have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to care, or contact the nearest federally qualified health center or one of Vermont’s free & referral clinics.

Review the health screening questions asked before you get the vaccine.

I have recovered from COVID-19. Should I get the vaccine?

Yes. You should still get vaccinated even if you already had COVID-19 and have fully recovered. Once you recover from COVID-19, you may have some immune protection from getting it again, called “natural immunity.” However, the level of protection you may get from natural immunity varies. It may depend on how mild or severe your illness was, how long it has been since you were infected, and how old you are.

Getting vaccinated will further boost your immune response and significantly lower your risk of getting COVID-19 again, especially from more contagious variants. It is also the best way to protect yourself from getting very sick, being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 if you get it again.

According to the CDC, there is also evidence that people who were infected with the original strain of the COVID-19 virus early in the pandemic are not as protected from getting infected again, unless they are vaccinated.

I am pregnant, breastfeeding or want to become pregnant. Should I get the vaccine?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

There is now more evidence that getting vaccinated during pregnancy is safe and effective. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with people who are not pregnant. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. Severe illness means you may need to be hospitalized, go into intensive care, or use a ventilator or special equipment to help you breathe. If you become severely ill, you may also die.

If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, it is safe for you to get a COVID-19 vaccine since:

  • There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.
  • There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.
  • Your menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being near someone who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause infection in anyone, including a breastfeeding mother or baby, and the vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 in people who are breastfeeding. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. More data are needed to determine what protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.

For more information, watch the video Sara Asks about the COVID-19 Vaccine, which is also available in other languages.

Learn more from the CDC about vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can I take medicines before or after my vaccine?

If you regularly take pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) or ibuprofen (for example, Motrin, Advil), allergy or other medications for medical conditions, please continue to do so as directed by your health care provider or as needed.

Do not take pain relievers or allergy medication before you get the vaccine to avoid side effects or allergic reactions. Allergy medications do not prevent a serious allergic reaction. They may hide symptoms that would tell a health care provider to treat an allergic reaction. Pain relievers may limit the vaccine from making a strong immune response. 

After your vaccine, you can take pain relievers for any side effects you may have from the vaccine to help you feel better.

What can I expect when I get my vaccine? Do I need to bring anything?
  • Most clinics are not drive-through. You will need to get out of your car and go inside.
  • You do not need to bring any identification. Some clinics may ask for your health insurance information and for you to show your health insurance card, but you do not need health insurance to get a vaccine.
  • If you are getting a second dose, additional dose, or a booster shot, we recommend bringing your vaccine card to your appointment, but it is not required.
  • You may need to wear a mask. If you are not vaccinated, wearing a mask helps protect you and the people around you from getting or spreading COVID-19.
  • If you made an appointment, arrive on time so you don’t have to wait long, or keep others waiting. Please do not arrive earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment.
  • If you need someone to come with you for assistance, please only bring one person so we can limit the number of people inside the clinics.

Every vaccine clinic is a little bit different, but here is what you can generally expect:

  1. Before you enter the clinic, someone will ask questions to determine if you have any current symptoms of COVID-19. You may have your temperature checked. If you do have symptoms, then you will be asked to get your vaccine later.
  2. You will go inside and check in. You will be asked to fill out paperwork, which will include a health screening questionnaire.
  3. You will be asked to go to a vaccination station where you will get the vaccine in your arm.
  4. You will be given a handout with information about the vaccine you got and any possible side effects to watch out for, as well as how to report any reactions or side effects you may have.
  5. You will be asked to stay for 15 to 30 minutes so you can be watched for any immediate reactions to the shot.
  6. If you are getting your first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, someone will help you schedule an appointment to get your second dose at a later date.

If you are going to a drive-through clinic, you will stay in your car. Someone will check you in and then give you the vaccine. You’ll be asked to wait 15 to 30 minutes before leaving.

What kind of assistance will be available at my vaccine appointment? Can someone come with me?

Most clinics are not drive-through. You will need to get out of your car and go inside. All vaccine clinics are handicap accessible. Wheelchairs are available at all Health Department vaccination sites and at hospitals.

Language interpreters (including ASL) can be arranged at Health Department vaccination sites. Usually, the interpreter will work with you remotely by phone or video conference through a computer available at the site. To request an interpreter, ask one of the public health workers at the site. Some sites, including Burlington and Winooski, will have in-person interpreters based on demand for these services in the area. If you will need an ASL interpreter at the vaccine clinic, you can select “ASL” as your preferred language when you are making an appointment through the Health Department website. You can also request for a clinic staff member to wear a clear mask if you need this accommodation to communicate. See the COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Guide

If you need physical assistance getting to your vaccine appointment, you can have one other person come with you. Both of you may have your temperatures taken and may be required to wear a mask. You will also be asked questions to determine if you have any current COVID-19 symptoms. If either of you do, then the person who has symptoms won’t be allowed to go any further.

I don’t have my own transportation. Can I get a ride to my vaccine appointment?

Yes. Free public transportation to vaccine clinics is available to Vermont residents who do not have their own transportation. Rides are coordinated by the Vermont Public Transportation Association. Volunteer drivers will use cars, vans or buses. All rides are ADA compliant and will accommodate people living with disabilities.

Please make a request at least 48 hours before your vaccine appointment. These rides are subject to the availability of transportation resources, so advance notice is necessary to make sure you will have a ride.

Rides are only available if you are not sick with COVID-19 (with symptoms or without symptoms) or are not a close contact of someone who has COVID-19. If you fall into one of these categories, you will need to answer some questions to find out when you can use public transportation.

Find contact information for your local public transportation provider

These contact numbers can only be used to schedule transportation. People answering these lines cannot answer questions about vaccine scheduling or clinical questions related to COVID-19.

I’m afraid of or triggered by needles. How can I get the vaccine?

Many people are afraid of getting vaccines because they are often given with a needle. The physical reaction inside you is very real. There are ways to overcome these fears through conditioning and practice. This can help you get the COVID-19 vaccine and other lifesaving vaccines or medical treatments you may need during your life.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Talk to your provider about what you can expect. Knowing what is coming can help.
  • Remember to breathe. This helps calm your body and mind.
  • Distract yourself from the procedure. Fix your focus on something else like a magazine or bring a support person to help.
  • Look away from the needle.
  • Think positive thoughts. Tell yourself that you are getting a shot for protection. Tell yourself you can do it. Then the more you do it, the easier it should be next time.
When do I need to get my second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? How do I make my appointment?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses for you to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.

  • If you got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, you should get your second dose about 21 days after your first.
  • If you got the Moderna vaccine, you should get your second dose about 28 days after your first. 

The CDC recommends getting your second dose as close to the recommended schedule as possible. It is okay to get your shot four days before the recommended schedule. But if you miss your second dose, get it as soon as you can. However, if you are not able to get it close to the recommended schedule, it is okay to get it up to 42 days after your first dose. There is limited data on how effective the vaccine is, if the second dose is given after 42 days. 

Try to keep your vaccine card in a safe place so you don’t lose it, like in your wallet or stored with other important documents. You can also take a picture of it with your smartphone. Carry your COVID-19 vaccination card with you in case a business or venue asks to see it.

We recommend bringing your vaccine card to your second dose appointment, but it is not required. We also recommend getting your second dose at the same place you got your first dose. This way you can be sure that you get the same vaccine.

Booster shots are recommended for everyone age 12 and older and additional doses are recommended for people who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Learn more about booster shots and additional doses.

Making a second dose appointment

If you make your appointment through the state website clinic staff will schedule your second dose appointment before you leave your first dose appointment. You can also schedule your own second dose appointment online or by calling 855-722-7878, but only after you go to your first dose appointment.

If you make your appointment with a pharmacy partner that has their own appointment website, they may do things a bit differently:

  • Kinney Drugs schedules second dose appointments at the first dose appointment.
  • CVS allows you to schedule first and second doses at the same time. Or you can schedule only your second dose. Your first dose doesn’t have to be from CVS. You will need to select which vaccine you got for your first dose to make sure you get the same vaccine for your second.
  • Walgreens allows you to schedule your first and second doses at the same time, but only if there are second dose appointments available. Otherwise, neither dose appointments can be scheduled. Or you can just schedule your second dose by selecting which vaccine you got for your first dose to make sure you get the same vaccine for your second.

rescheduling or canceling your second dose appointment

For appointments made through the state website:

  • If you need to cancel your appointment, please do as soon as possible. You will need to log in to your account and click on the “Cancel” button.
  • If you need to reschedule your appointment, log in to your account and click on the “Reschedule” button. You can then search for and choose another appointment. Your original appointment will not be canceled if you do not find a better date, time or location.
  • If you need help or are not able to cancel or reschedule your appointment online, call 855-722-7878.

For appointments made through a pharmacy’s website, contact the pharmacy if you would like to reschedule or cancel any of your appointments.

What should I know about side effects?

Side effects from the vaccine are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. They might even affect your daily activities but should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. Common side effects are:

  • Pain, swelling or redness on the arm where you got the shot 
  • Tiredness 
  • Headache 
  • Chills 
  • Muscle or joint pain 
  • Fever 
  • Nausea or vomiting 

What to do about side effects: 

  • After your vaccine, you can take pain relievers for any side effects you may have from the vaccine to help you feel better. Don't take them before you get the vaccine to prevent side effects. 
  • Call your health care or vaccine provider if side effects are worrying you or if they don’t go away after a few days. 
  • If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine immediately contact your health care provider.
  • You can use V-safe to tell the CDC about any side effects and to get reminders for your second dose. V-safe is an optional smartphone tool that uses text messages and web surveys to provide personalized check-ins. If you don’t have a smartphone, a family member can sign up for you. Learn more and register for V-safe. V-safe is available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese or Korean.
  • If you have a bad reaction after getting vaccinated, you or your health care provider can report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Call 1-800-822-7967 or report it online.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, also called VAERS, accepts and analyzes reports of possible side effects related to a vaccine. It’s important to know that anything reported is only a report, and can be reported by anyone. They do not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the event reported. Thoroughness and transparency are critical when it comes to vaccine safety, but VAERS reports should be used and interpreted with caution.

I'm sick. Are my symptoms from the vaccine or sickness from COVID-19?

It takes time for vaccines to work. It may be hard to tell the difference between side effects from the vaccine and symptoms from sickness if you get infected with COVID-19 between vaccine doses. While everyone’s reaction may be different, vaccine side effects usually start within 12 to 24 hours after your vaccination. They should go away within a few days. 

If you are having symptoms, you should not go to work and you should call your health care provider. If your health care provider determines that your symptoms are associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, then you can return to work if you feel well enough to do so.

If symptoms get worse or last longer than a few days, contact your health care provider. They should be able to suggest next steps and maybe a COVID-19 test. Getting the vaccine will not affect your COVID-19 test results.

How can I get a copy of my vaccine record? Can I get a new vaccine card if I lose it?

Try to keep your vaccine card in a safe place so you don’t lose it, like in your wallet or stored with other important documents. You can also take a picture of it with your smartphone. Carry your COVID-19 vaccination card with you in case a business or venue asks to see it.

If you lost your vaccine card or your information is wrong, the Vermont Immunization Registry (IMR) has your vaccination record. Follow the instructions to request your vaccination record from the IMR or call 888-688-4667, option 3. You can get a copy of your record as an encrypted email (within two business days) or through the mail (within about a week).

Some pharmacies may also offer to replace a COVID-19 vaccination card, but not all pharmacies or locations provide this service. Check before you go to be sure.

If you choose to get your vaccine card laminated, please note that the ink used to write in your dose could run when heat is applied. Also, booster shots or additional doses won’t be able to be recorded if the card is laminated.

If you are a Vermont resident and got the COVID-19 vaccine in another state, connect with your health care provider in Vermont to make sure your vaccination is on record. This will ensure that both your medical records are updated and your vaccine is recorded in the Vermont Immunization Registry.

Top of page


Booster Shots and additional doses of COVID-19 Vaccines

Why should I get a booster shot?

The COVID-19 vaccines are working well at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death – even against the more contagious variants that are circulating. The CDC expects the current vaccines to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.

Studies show that after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the variants. A booster shot gives your body extra protection. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19.

Am I eligible for a booster shot or an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone age 12 and older should get a booster shot. For people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems, the CDC recommends that they get an additional dose of the mRNA vaccine before getting their booster shot. Details about when you should get a booster shot or if you are eligible for an additional dose are described below.

Booster Shots

You should get a booster if you are 12 or older and you received:

  • your Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago or
  • your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least five months ago

Find out how to get your booster shot

Additional Dose of an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) Vaccine for People with Moderately to Severely Compromised Immune Systems

Watch videos on this topic in many languages

If you have a moderately to severely compromised immune system and got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should get four vaccine doses total. The CDC recommends that anyone age 5 or older get an additional dose (third dose) of that vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose. If you are eligible for this third dose, the CDC also recommends that you get it before you get your booster shot (fourth dose).

You are considered to have a moderately to severely compromised immune system if you have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

If you have one of the conditions listed above, talk to your health care provider about whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for you. The additional dose must be the same type as your previous dose. For example, if your first two doses were the Pfizer vaccine, then the additional dose must also be Pfizer, and if your first two doses were Moderna, then the additional dose must also be Moderna. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is no recommendation to get an additional dose at this time. 

In Vermont, when you get your additional dose at a pharmacy or state-run vaccine clinic, you will be asked to agree that you fit the CDC description of someone with a moderately to severely compromised immune system. You will not be asked for proof.

Learn more from the CDC about COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.

Videos on additional doses for people who are immunocompromised
العربية | မြန်မာစာ | Français | Kirundi | Maay Maay | नेपाली | Soomaali | Español | Kiswahili | Tiếng Việt
From the Vermont Multilingual Task Force

Can I mix vaccines when I get my booster shot? For example, can I get a Pfizer booster shot if I got Moderna for my first two doses?

Once you are eligible for a booster shot, you can choose whichever booster type you would like to get: Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. It does not matter which vaccine you got originally.

Moderna booster shots are given as half doses, no matter which vaccine you originally got.

Is the Moderna booster a half dose?

Yes. The booster shot for the Moderna vaccine is half the size of the dose given for the first and second doses, no matter which vaccine type you got originally.

If I am eligible for a booster shot and I don’t get one, am I still considered fully vaccinated?

Yes. The definition of “fully vaccinated” is not changing at this time. You are fully vaccinated 14 days after you received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

However, you are not fully protected from COVID-19 until you get your booster shot. Booster shots are recommended for everyone age 12 and older and additional doses are recommended for people who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems. Learn more about booster shots and additional doses.

How long does it take for the booster shot to give me added protection?

It will take about two weeks after your shot for the booster to take full effect.

Do I have to wait a certain amount of time between getting my booster shot and another shot, like the flu shot?

No, you don't need to wait. You can get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same time. This includes children who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This means you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, or close together.

When COVID-19 vaccines were first made available, you needed to wait two weeks between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, like your flu shot. That guidance has changed as more data has become available.

Find current guidance from the CDC about getting the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines.

I was vaccinated, then got COVID-19. Can I get a booster shot?

Yes, but you will need to wait until you are fully recovered and are able to end your isolation.

Am I going to have the same side effects that I had after my first or second dose?

The side effects reported after getting the Pfizer booster shot have been similar to those of the first two doses in the “primary series.” Fatigue and pain at the injection site have been the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects have been mild to moderate. However, as with the primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

What if I had a reaction to the first two doses?

If you had a severe reaction to your first or second vaccine dose, or are concerned about having a reaction, you should talk to your health care provider before getting a booster shot.

Where can I get my booster shot?

To get a booster shot, find a location that offers whichever booster shot you would like to get. Check the vaccine map for locations by vaccine type 

You can also check with your health care provider or one of these pharmacies: CostcoCVSHannafordKinney DrugsPrice Chopper/Market 32Rite AidShawsWalgreens, and Walmart.

How do I make an appointment for a booster shot?

You can make an appointment through the state's online system or with your local pharmacy or health care provider.

Learn more and schedule your booster shot appointment

Can I walk in to a vaccine clinic and get a booster shot of a different vaccine type than my original vaccine?

Yes, as long as the clinic has the vaccine type you are looking for and is accepting walk-ins. Check the vaccine clinic listing for those that are accepting walk-ins

Will I have to show proof that I am eligible for a booster shot?

You will have to state that you meet the eligibility requirements. You will not have to show proof, but you should bring your COVID-19 vaccine card.

I am not a Vermont resident. Can I get my booster shot in Vermont?

Yes!

It has almost been five months since my second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Can I register in advance?

No, you cannot sign up for an appointment until the day you are eligible based on all criteria.

What do I do if I laminated my card?

You will be given a new card at your booster dose appointment.

Top of page


COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

What do I need to know about COVID-19 vaccines for children age 5 to 11?

Children age 5 to 11 will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The dose is specially made for this age group – one-third the size of the dose for people 12 and older. This provides enough protection with the least potential for side effects. Just like adolescents and adults, children will receive two doses of the vaccine given three weeks apart.

For some immunocompromised children age 5 to 11, the CDC now recommends an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second shot – a total of three doses. Learn more about additional doses.

Learn more and find out where to get the COVID-19 for kids age 5 to 11

Which vaccine will my child get if they are 11 now, but turning 12 soon?

The CDC recommends that children get the vaccine for their age group based on the age they are the day they get their shot.

If your child is 11, they will get the vaccine for children age 5 to 11. This is the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that is one-third the size of the dose given to people 12 and older.

If they turn 12 by the time they receive their second dose, they will get the dose for people age 12 and older.

In general, it is recommended that everyone get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. There is no need to wait for your child to turn 12 before getting them vaccinated.

Your child will be fully vaccinated 14 days after they get their second dose.

Can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, like the flu shot?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines. This means your child can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, or close together.

If my child is in quarantine, can they still be vaccinated?

Yes. If your child is under quarantine and does not have symptoms, they can leave quarantine to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Your child would then need to complete the rest of their quarantine. If they have symptoms, they should stay home and get tested for COVID-19.

If my child has COVID-19, can they still be vaccinated?

If your child has COVID-19, they should get the vaccine once they have fully recovered. Getting vaccinated will further boost your child’s immune response and significantly lower the risk of getting COVID-19 again.

If my child has side effects from the vaccine, will they need to stay home from school?

If your child is sick, you should use this chart to guide when they can return to school. 

Fortunately, vaccine side effects are likely to last less than 24 hours, so a COVID-19 test is not required. 

The good news is the vaccine trials for 5- to 11-year-olds showed fewer reports of post-vaccine side effects and those that were reported were milder in this age group, likely due to the lower dose. Most common: fatigue (40%), headache (28%), muscle/joint pain (12%) and most reported as mild. 

Vaccine side effects do NOT include symptoms associated with COVID-19 — runny nose, congestion and cough.

Will children experience side effects from the vaccine?

The good news is the vaccine trials for 5 to 11-year-olds showed fewer reports of post-vaccine side effects and those that were reported were milder in this age group, likely due to the lower dose. Most common: fatigue (40%), headache (28%), muscle/joint pain (12%) and most reported as mild.

Are there ways to help children with special needs get the vaccine?

In preparation for vaccinations for kids, a wide variety of learning opportunities have been provided to our community clinic staff and pediatric health care providers, specific to best practice when vaccinating young children. This includes distraction techniques and unique considerations for children and youth with sensory or developmental diversity.

You can also reach out to your child's health care provider to see if they have the vaccine if you're more comfortable getting the vaccine with their provider.

Learn more from the Vermont Family Network about helping to ease anxiety for children with disabilities and special health needs when they are getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

What do I need to know about vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds?

Kids age 12 and older can get the Pfizer vaccine. Clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine among kids ages 12 to 15 showed that the vaccine is safe and effective for that age group. None of the children who got the Pfizer vaccine during the clinical trial got sick with COVID-19. Getting vaccinated means more freedom so Vermont kids can be kids.

The CDC recently approved booster shots for children ages 12 to 15. You can now register your child to get a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine if it has been at least five months since their second dose.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are each running clinical vaccine trials with adolescents 12 to 17 years old. 

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids
Arabic | Burmese | Chinese – Simplified | Chinese - Traditional | English | French | Hindi | Karen | Kirundi | Nepali Portuguese | Somali | Spanish | Swahili | Thai | Tibetan | Vietnamese

The Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccine: Parent FAQs (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Learn more about the benefits of getting your teen vaccinated from Dr. Andrea Green and the Vermont Multilingual Coronavirus Task Force:
Arabic | Burmese | French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Swahili | Vietnamese

When will children age 2 to 4 be able to get vaccinated?

Children’s immune systems are different at different ages. They are also different from adults. This is why the vaccine studies need to be repeated with children of different age groups.

Pfizer-BioNTech has clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines for children age 2 to 4 going on now. The Health Department is working on plans to distribute the vaccine to this age group once it becomes available.