About the Vaccine


Last updated 2/16/2021

A COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic. A safe, effective, no-cost COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone in California. The vaccine paired with other daily health habits, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing, will slow the spread of COVID-19 so businesses and schools can fully reopen and we can return to a more normal way of life.


Why Should I Get Vaccinated?

Vaccination is an important tool to help stop the pandemic. It protects you and others by reducing infection and the spread of COVID-19. Together, the vaccine and other public health measures (like wearing a face covering and social distancing) will offer the best protection from COVID-19, reducing further spread so businesses and schools can fully reopen and we can return to a more normal way of life.

How Does the Vaccine Work?

The vaccines do not contain live viruses that could cause infection, are rapidly broken down by the human body after injection and do not interact with or affect with a person's DNA. The vaccines use messenger RNA to teach the body's own cells to produce antibodies to protect itself from COVID-19. Both vaccines require two doses over a three- to four-week period.

Is the Vaccine Safe?

Vaccines have a long history of safety and effectiveness. While infrastructure to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is being scaled up as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. To date, tens of thousands of people have received these vaccines in carefully documented trials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an independent group of experts that reviews all the safety data as it comes in and provides regular safety updates. The State of California is also conducting its own review of the vaccines’ clinical data to ensure they’re safe to use. The CDC, Food and Drug Administration and healthcare providers will continue safety monitoring as more people are vaccinated to learn about any additional vaccine side effects.

Information for Healthcare Workers

Frontline healthcare workers are now eligible to be vaccinated. Click here for more information for healthcare workers.


Even as vaccines become more widely available, it’s critical that you continue to protect yourself from COVID-19:

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Wear a face covering

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Keep at least 6 feet apart from others

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Wash your hands often

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Stay home when possible