Your guide to the COVID-19 vaccine

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People 5 years and older are now eligible

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, but we can help end it together. Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to keep everyone safe and healthy. Check back soon to learn how to get your child vaccinated.


Learn about the COVID-19 vaccine

Find out how the vaccines work, how we know they’re safe, and what we're doing to ensure everyone has access.

I got the COVID-19 vaccine. Now what?

Learn how to stay safe and help protect others after you’ve been vaccinated.


Learn more about getting vaccinated at Kaiser Permanente

General information
Will there be a cost for the vaccine?

No. Kaiser Permanente won’t charge its members or employees for the vaccine. Vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars are required by the federal government to be given at no cost. 

Can I get the vaccine outside of Kaiser Permanente?

Yes. You’ll be able to get the vaccine from any facility that has been approved as a COVID-19 vaccine provider by its state department of health. Non–Kaiser Permanente members will also be able to get the vaccine through Kaiser Permanente at no cost. 

We are accessing state immunization registries to update our members’ records with their COVID-19 vaccinations received outside of Kaiser Permanente. However, if you’d like to send us your information directly, you can go online to to email a photo or copy of your vaccination record card to your doctor’s office. Click on the “Attach an image” link at the bottom of the message to add your photo or scanned copy.

How should I prepare for my vaccine appointment?

On the day of your vaccination, dress comfortably in clothing that makes it easy to expose your upper arm. Some clinics may be located outdoors, so dress appropriately for the weather. You can expect to have some waiting time, including an observation period of up to 30 minutes after your vaccination.   

If you’re coming for your second dose, make sure to bring your COVID-19 vaccination card.   

A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under 18 to their vaccine appointment. You might be asked for your child’s photo ID (such as a school ID card or passport) and proof of age (such as a birth certificate).   

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

Members 18 and older can now choose between single-dose or two-dose vaccines when making appointments on The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 16 and older and continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for an additional dose in certain immunocompromised people.

If you have concerns about the vaccine you’re offered when you arrive for your appointment, we have clinical staff available to answer your questions.

Will the vaccine require more than one injection?

Due to changes in vaccine supply, we’re not able to offer all approved COVID-19 vaccines at all sites where we deliver them. We’re currently working to update our system to allow people to choose between a single dose or two-dose vaccine when making appointments. We’re also working to ensure that we have the vaccines available to accommodate people who shouldn’t get a particular vaccine due to allergies or other reasons. 

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 12 to 17. Right now, Kaiser Permanente is only vaccinating people 16 and older. We plan to open appointments to children 12 to 15 later this week. We’re currently awaiting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on administering the vaccine safely to this younger age group.

If you have concerns about the vaccine you’re offered when you arrive for your appointment, we have clinical staff available to answer your questions.

Booster shots

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that a single booster dose can be administered at least six months after completion of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna primary series for all adults 18 years and older.

The CDC recommends a booster dose of the vaccine for all people 18 or older who received their initial immunization with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Any of the COVID-19 vaccines can be used for booster vaccination, regardless of the vaccine product used for primary vaccination

No, you can get any of the available vaccines for your booster shot. For example, if you got Moderna for your first 2 shots, you can choose to get a booster dose from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer.
So far, reactions after getting the Pfizer booster shot were similar to those with the 2-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the 2-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare , but may occur.
According to the CDC, an additional dose is still considered part of a primary vaccine series and is administered to people (such as those who are immunocompromised) who may not have mounted a full immune response to the first two doses. 
A booster is defined by the CDC to be a vaccination that’s given when somebody mounted an adequate immune response to the first series but we think enough time has passed that that immunity may have waned, and we want to boost the immune system with another dose.
Protection against the complications of severe COVID-19, including hospitalization and death, remains high following a primary series for all of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines. However, studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant.

Vaccination for ages 5 to 11

A COVID-19 vaccine may not be available for very young children until more studies are completed. If your child is:

  • 5 to 11: The Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently available under emergency use authorization for people 5 through 11 years of age.
  • 12 to 17: The Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently approved for people 16 years and older and continues to be available under emergency use authorization for people 12 through 15 years of age.
  • 18 or older: In addition to the fully approved Pfizer vaccine, emergency use authorizations continue for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Pfizer’s data shows that the vaccine is 90.9% effective in preventing infection in kids age 5 to 11. The data also shows that the vaccine reduces the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 in children if they do become infected.
The Pfizer vaccine for kids 5 to 11 is a two-dose regimen administered 21 days apart, just like the Pfizer vaccine for teens and adults. But the youngest group will receive a lower dose of 10 micrograms with each shot, one-third of what is used for people 12 and older. This 10 microgram dose was selected to prioritize safety, tolerability, and immune response in kids age 5 to 11. In order to distinguish between the different doses, the vaccine for kids age 5 to 11 will come in vials with orange rather than purple caps.
Providing safe and effective vaccinations to children, especially as they have returned to school, is an important step to help protect them from getting sick from COVID-19. We are learning more and more that children can and do spread COVID-19. Although the risks to any individual child of having severe illness or complications from COVID-19 are low, with COVID-19 circulating in our communities, we will still see children who are hospitalized with infection or complications like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). 
Dress your child comfortably in clothing that makes it easy to expose their upper arm. You can expect to have some waiting time, including an observation period of up to 30 minutes after the vaccination. Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. Masks are required in Kaiser Permanente buildings but we will provide you with a mask if you do not have one.

COVID-19 vaccines at Kaiser Permanente

Safety and effectiveness

Get fact-based information from medical experts that proves COVID-19 vaccines are safe and

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Equity and accessibility

See how we’re working to make COVID-19 vaccines available to the people and communities that need it most.

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Member stories

Hear from real Kaiser Permanente members and staff about their experience getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

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