What Happens After You Get the Vaccine

How many shots you need

If you get the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you only need one shot

If you get either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, you need two shots

The Pfizer and Moderna shots are given three to four weeks apart. The timing between your first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received. You need to get the same type of vaccine for both shots. For the best protection, be sure to get the second shot unless your provider says not to. You should get your second shot:

  • for the Pfizer-BioNTech 3 weeks (or 21 days) after your first shot
  • for the Moderna 1 month (or 28 days) after your first shot

The shots do not make you immune right away

It may take your body up to two weeks after the second shot to build immunity. During that time, be sure to continue social distancing. If you are near people not from your household, wear a mask and stay at least six feet away. 

You may have flu-like side effects after getting the shots

You may feel pain or swelling on the arm you got the shot in. You may also have fever, chills, tiredness or headache. If side effects last longer than a few days, call your primary care provider or HPSM's Nurse Advice Line at 1-833-846-8773.

Get reminders for your second shot

Sign up for the CDC’s v-safe app

v-safe by CDC