Clinical guidance

You’re due for a COVID vaccine

Published January 1, 2022

Why should I get a COVID vaccine?

Getting a COVID vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and others against serious illness from COVID-19.

COVID-19 usually affects the nose, throat, and lungs but can sometimes affect other parts of the body, too. Some people get a little sick from COVID, while others get really sick. Over 1 million people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.

Because COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, getting a COVID vaccine also helps prevent other people from getting sick with COVID.

What do I need to know about the COVID vaccine?

There are a few types of COVID vaccines available. All are effective, so you can choose one based on personal preference and availability. The COVID vaccine is usually a single shot in the arm.

When should I get a COVID vaccine?

You can get a COVID vaccine anytime but COVID cases tend to rise in the winter, so many people get vaccinated in the fall. It’s expected that a new COVID vaccine will become available every fall, much like the flu vaccine.

I already had COVID-19. Should I still get a COVID vaccine?

Yes. After recovering from COVID-19, you’ll probably be protected against COVID for a few months — but this protection fades over time so getting vaccinated is still important. You might consider waiting 3 months after recovering to get the vaccine.

Where can I get a COVID vaccine?

The COVID vaccine is widely available (you don’t even need a prescription or provider’s order). Your best bet is to get it at a pharmacy near you.

Are there any side effects to getting the COVID vaccine?

Some people experience side effects, like a sore arm where the shot was given, feeling tired, feeling achy, and a headache. Any side effects are usually mild and temporary, especially when compared to symptoms of COVID.