COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Children who are 12-17 years old can get the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have only been approved for those 18 or older.
There are no FDA-approved vaccines for children who are age 11 and under as of now.
Yes, it’s free. You may be asked for your insurance information, but this is only to bill the insurance company. You should not be personally billed for your vaccine. If you don’t have insurance, then the government pays for the vaccine.
For more information, see the Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccines? question in the CDC’s FAQs.
If you don’t know where to start, My Turn is a California government website where you can find available appointments through various healthcare providers, pharmacies, or vaccination sites. You can also book an appointment directly through healthcare providers and pharmacies:
Anyone can book an appointment with any of these healthcare providers (the only exception is the VA, which may have an eligibility requirement). You don’t need to be a member or patient with these providers or have insurance to be eligible for an appointment.
Due to the high demand for vaccines and production delays, it is often difficult to make an appointment. Be patient and persistent. Appointment slots tend to show up in batches on vaccination appointment websites.
Here are some strategies to get an appointment:
Check vaccination appointment websites often.
Sign up for vaccine notifications.
Yes. You may need the following information to sign someone else up for an appointment:
Below are some phone numbers you can call to schedule an appointment. You may need the following information to schedule your appointment over the phone.
My Turn CA COVID-19 Hotline
Monday–Friday, 8 am–8 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 8 am–5 pm
You do not need to be a member of these healthcare providers to get an appointment, except for the VA.
El Camino Health
Monday–Friday, 8 am–5 pm
6:30 am–7 pm PT
Non-members or previous members:
Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter Health
Monday–Friday, 7 am–6 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 8 am–5 pm
Stanford Health Care
Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–5:00 pm
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
The VA is vaccinating veterans, spouses of veterans, caregivers of veterans, and recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits.
MVBT’s Technical Support Team
Leave a voicemail, and we will get back to you when we can.
Sunnyvale Senior Care manager number (For Sunnyvale residents who are 75+)
Valley Connection Call Center (For Mountain View residents)
Available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages
Contact the person’s primary care doctor. They may be able to refer you to a resource.
Mountain View homebound residents may be eligible for a mobile vaccination through the Mountain View Fire Department. Their mobile unit will come to the residence, and a Mountain View firefighter/paramedic would administer the vaccination.
Email CovidVaxHome@phd.sccgov.org for more information.
If you signed up for an appointment online, check your email for what you need to bring to your appointment. If you scheduled over the phone, ask the provider what you need to bring.
You may need to bring the following:
On the day of the appointment, also wear the following:
If you are in Santa Clara County, VTA provides free rides to vaccination sites in Santa Clara County. They are currently not collecting fares.
To find the best route, follow these steps:
If you are not in Santa Clara County or your vaccination site is not in Santa Clara County, this Healthy Transit Plan page provides information on many public transportation options to vaccination sites in the Bay Area.
The vaccines affect everyone differently. You may or may not experience side effects. Side effects may be a normal sign that your body is building protection.
Here are the common side effects that the CDC lists:
On the arm you got the shot:
Throughout the rest of your body:
According to the CDC, the scheduling for the second vaccine depends on which vaccine you got:
Do not get the second vaccine before the required time. You can get the second dose up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose if you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is no second dose. You are done.
For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, some vaccination appointment websites would have you schedule your second appointment when you schedule your first appointment.
If you were not prompted to schedule a second appointment, you might be able to make the second appointment at the vaccination site after your first dose.
If you still need to make a second appointment, you can go through a vaccine appointment website. Select that you are scheduling for a second appointment, include the date of your first appointment, and select if you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
If a service or business requires that you wear a mask, wear a mask.
According to the CDC, It takes two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Modera vaccine or two weeks after the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated.
Here’s the CDC’s recommendation for masks after being fully vaccinated:
For now, fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without physical distancing or wearing masks with:
Until more is known, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people in other settings, like when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
Additional recommendations can be found at When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.