Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Walk-insAnyone age 12 and older is eligible to be vaccinated, regardless of residency. Learn about vaccines for people 12 to 17 years old.

Get your free vaccine without an appointment!

map of Vaccine ClinicS

    Find a list of walk-in clinics here

    If you are 12 to 17 years old, look for clinics that offer the Pfizer vaccine and bring a parent or guardian with you.

    Walk-in appointments are available at these store pharmacies: Costco, CVS, Hannaford (other than Barre), Kinney Drugs, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaws, Walgreens, Walmart, and at these pharmacies: Northfield Pharmacy, UVM Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacies.

    ASL interpretation is available by video at all state-run vaccination clinics.
     

    People 12 to 17 years old

    You can get a vaccine at a walk-in clinic (without an appointment) or you can make an appointment. Be sure you are getting the Pfizer vaccine since that is the only vaccine that is authorized for people age 12 to 17.

    If you are making an appointment online through the state website, you will only see appointments for the Pfizer vaccine. 

    Certain pharmacies, including CVS and Kinney Drugs, are also offering the Pfizer vaccine to this age group, and some have walk-in opportunities.

    For appointments made through the state website and appointments made through CVS, you will either need to:

    Walgreens requires a parent or guardian to be present and give consent at the appointment.

    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)

    When to talk to your health care provider

    Talk with your health care provider if you've had an immediate allergic reaction to any other vaccine, injectable therapy, or polysorbate, or if you have questions about whether getting the vaccine is right for you because of health conditions, allergies, or other vaccines you've received recently.

    Appointments are alSo available

    Make an appointment for a free vaccine

    ONLINE

    Make An appointment

    Use the blue button above to make an appointment through the state website, which includes clinics run by the Health Department, the National Guard, health care partners, Costco, Hannaford, Price Chopper, Rite Aid, Shaws and Walmart. You will make your second-dose appointment when you get your first dose.

    BY PHONE
    Call us at 855-722-7878 Monday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    • To speak with someone in a language other than English, call this number, and then press 1.
    • For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, you can make a TTY call to this number.

    INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

    You'll be asked to give your:

    • name (you do not need to show identification)
    • date of birth
    • address
    • email address, if you have one
    • phone number

    You will also be asked some medical questions about whether you:

    • have any history of allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies
    • are currently sick with COVID-19
    • have received passive antibody therapy as a treatment for COVID-19
    • have a weakened immune system
    • are breastfeeding or lactating

    Please make only one appointment per person at a time.

    See Tips for Making a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

    WATCH A VIDEO TO HELP YOU MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

    See videos on:

    • How to make your COVID-19 appointment online
    • Adding a dependent or spouse to your account
     

    Appointments at Pharmacies

    You can also get an appointment at Costco, CVS, Hannaford (other than Barre), Kinney Drugs, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaws, Walgreens, Walmart, and at these pharmacies: Northfield Pharmacy, UVM Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacies.

    Special Locations for Certain Groups

    People who are homebound

    Homebound means you are not able to leave your home for scheduled medical or non-medical appointments. If you are homebound, you will be able to get the vaccine in your home.

    • If you are in the service of a local home health agency, the agency will reach out to you to schedule an appointment.
    • If you are not in the service of a home health agency, you may request an appointment by calling 802-863-7240 (toll-free 833-722-0860) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Clinic options for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)

    If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 12 years or older have the option to get vaccinated at a BIPOC household focused clinic.

    • You can make an appointment online at community vaccination sites or by calling the Health Department at 855-722-7878, or
    • You can make an appointment at BIPOC-focused community clinics led by partners in the Burlington area using the forms or phone numbers below, or 
    • You can make an appointment at a pharmacy (link is external)

    To sign up in the Burlington area, please fill out the Burlington BIPOC COVID Vaccination form (link is external) coordinated by the VT Racial Justice Alliance, The Black Perspective, the New Alpha Ministry Baptist Church, the UVM VT LEND Program, and the Vermont Professionals of Color Network. If you prefer to schedule your appointment by phone, you can contact the Burlington Resource and Recovery Center at 802-755-7239.

    The BIPOC household focused clinics led by the Windham County NAACP (link is external) in Brattleboro, Bennington and Rutland and the Racial Justice Alliance (link is external) and the Vermont Professionals of Color Network (link is external) in Burlington will continue for eligible BIPOC members and their households who would prefer to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic that is dedicated to this community.

    Learn more about working toward equity

    Clinic options for English language learners and people in immigrant/refugee communities

    There are community-specific clinics for people who are English language learners or immigrant/refugee community members. If you are age 12 or older, you can choose to register for one of these clinics.

    Please call the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) at 802-985-3106 or the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Vermont (USCRI VT) at 802-655-1963 to register.

    If you are eligible for vaccination, you can also make an appointment by calling 855-722-7878. Press 1 if you need interpretation services.

    Learn more about working toward equity

    Before Your 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 and are recovered, you can get the vaccine or choose to wait for up to three months. It is uncommon to get infected with COVID-19 again within the first three months of your initial infection.
    • 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 first or second dose of the 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 first or second dose 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.
    Should I get the vaccine if I have a medical condition?

    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.

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

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

    Yes. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions, a conversation with your health care provider might help, but is not required for vaccination.

    Based on how these vaccines work in the body (that is, they do not reproduce inside your body’s cells), experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant, people who are lactating or breastfeeding babies. However, there are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people. Additionally, there are no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in people who are breastfeeding, the effects of the vaccines on milk production or excretion, or the effects of vaccination on the breastfed 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.

    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. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. There is also no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, your menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being near someone who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Can I take medicines before 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 Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, we recommend bringing your vaccine card to your second dose 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. Someone will help you schedule an appointment to get your second dose of vaccine 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 will be 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.

    If you need physical assistance getting to your vaccine appointment, you can have one other person come with you. You will both have your temperatures taken and will 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.

    You will both need to wear masks during your appointment. If you do not have one, there will be masks available at the clinic. If you have trouble breathing, are unable to remove your mask by yourself, or have a medical reason for not wearing one, you will not be required to wear a mask.

    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.

    After Your Vaccine

    What can I do after I am fully vaccinated?

    It takes 14 days after your final shot until you are protected from COVID-19. This is because it takes time for the vaccine to train your body to fight COVID-19. It is possible you could still get COVID-19 soon after getting vaccinated because your body has not had enough time to build full protection. You can choose to take the steps to prevent COVID-19 until you are fully vaccinated.

    You are fully vaccinated 14 days after your final shot. Once you are fully vaccinated, you can go back to doing all the activities you did before the pandemic. 

    If you are fully vaccinated and are now a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine unless you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are in a health care setting. 

    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.

    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 protected 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. 

    For the vaccine to be the most effective, it’s best to get 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. Find out why you need two doses.

    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.

    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 the vaccine to train your body to fight COVID-19. You may not be protected from COVID-19 until you are fully vaccinated, which is 14 days after your final shot. This is why it is important to continue following the prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.

      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. You can request a record of your vaccine through your health care provider or directly from the IMR by emailing vaxrecordrequest@vermont.gov or calling 888-688-4667, option 3. You can get a copy of your record as an encrypted email (within 1 to 2 hours on weekdays) or through the mail (within one 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, if booster shots are needed, they 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.

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

      Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious disease, including hospitalization and death. But no vaccine is 100% effective. That means some people who are vaccinated may become infected with COVID-19. This is called a “vaccine breakthrough.” This happens with any vaccine including measles, mumps, flu and others. Fortunately, the percentage of people who get COVID-19 after being vaccinated should stay low. Among those who get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, few will get very sick.

      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's very hard for it to spread. It is this community immunity that helps protect us all from getting sick.

      Variants

      Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against variants currently circulating in the United States. Vermont’s number of specimens connected to a COVID-19 infection after vaccination is too small to make any conclusions about the role variants play in causing infections among fully vaccinated people.

      The Health Department sequences specimens and prioritizes any that are connected with an infection after vaccination. Learn more about the variants circulating in Vermont.

      Learn more from the CDC about: