About the Vaccine


Last updated 6/15/2021

All people ages 12 and older are eligible to get vaccinated through Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), even if they do not live or work in Contra Costa County. People under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to their vaccination, have written consent from a parent/guardian, or have a parent/guardian we can contact by phone during the vaccination. 

Vaccines are one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic. A safe, effective, free COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone ages 12 and older in California. The vaccine paired with other daily health habits is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and is our ticket to a more normal way of life.


Why Should I Get Vaccinated?

Vaccination is our most powerful tool to end the pandemic. The vaccines give you strong protection from getting and spreading COVID-19 and even greater protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death from the virus. 

Together, the vaccine and other healthy habits offer the best protection from COVID-19, so you can get back to the moments you’ve missed with the people you love.


What Can I Do After I’m Fully Vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine. If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or you still need to get your second dose, you are not fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.


Masks are not required in most settings, except where required for all people. Both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people must wear masks in these settings:​

  • Public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares)

  • Transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)

  • Workplace: Masks must continue to be worn on the job. Cal/OSHA will be reviewing its masking guidance for employers and workers on June 17. 

  • K-12 schools, childcare facilities and other youth settings (indoors)

  • Businesses that choose to require masks for all customers

  • Healthcare settings (including long-term care facilities)

  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers

  • Correctional facilities and detention centers

Click here to read about individuals who are exempt from wearing masks.

Physical Distancing:

  • No restrictions for attendees, customers and guests

  • Physical distance in the workplace should be maintained 

COVID-19 Testing and Quarantine:

  • You only need to get tested if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

  • You don’t need to get tested following a known exposure, unless you live or work in a group setting, such as a correctional or detention facility or a group home

Travel: Follow CDC recommendations 


How Do the Vaccines Work?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to teach the body's cells to produce antibodies to protect you from COVID. Both of these vaccines require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is what is called a “viral vector vaccine.” It uses a modified version of a different (and harmless) virus to deliver important instructions to our cells to fight infections. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. The vaccines teach our bodies how to protect us against future infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.  

Are the Vaccines Safe?

Yes. Although the vaccines were developed in record time, they have gone through the same rigorous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process as every other vaccine, meeting all safety standards. No steps were skipped. In fact, the state of California added another step by creating its own safety-review committee. Millions of people have been safely vaccinated around the world already. Click to learn more.

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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Avoid crowds

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Wash your hands often