COVID-19 Vaccine

UCHealth is providing the Pfizer vaccine to anyone age 12 or older.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 16 years old or older, and full approval for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 years old or older.

To approve the vaccines, the FDA reviewed safety and effectiveness data collected over more than a year. The vaccines now have the same approval as other prescription drugs.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is also available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for children age 5 through 15 years old.

When to get the COVID-19 vaccine

UCHealth is currently providing the Pfizer vaccine. Dose timing varies by age and whether a person is immunocompromised.

Pfizer Vaccine Schedule

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine

To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, please use My Health Connection, UCHealth’s online patient portal, to see available appointments. You do not need to be a UCHealth patient in order to get a vaccine.

  • Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.
  • If you do not have a My Health Connection account or are new to UCHealth, create a My Health Connection account to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine.
  • UCHealth vaccine clinics are not accepting walk-in patients. Please schedule an appointment for your vaccination.
  • Please plan to check in online prior to your appointment. At that time, you will be asked to provide or confirm your insurance information. While we will bill your insurance company for administration of the vaccine, patients will not receive a bill from UCHealth. If you do not use online check-in, please bring your insurance card to your appointment.
  • If you have questions or need help, please call:

UCHealth COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 720.462.2255
(Español: 844.945.2508)
Monday through Friday – 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sign up for My Health Connection

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For children 5 to 11 years old

UCHealth is not offering appointments for this age group at this time.

For more information on where your child can get a COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Get answers to more questions regarding vaccines for 5 through 11 year olds.

For children 12 to 17 years old

For your first dose at a UCHealth vaccine clinic, you must:

For people with a compromised immune system

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a third primary dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for people with a moderately to severely compromised immune system.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people age 5 or older who received 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine should get an additional primary dose 4 weeks after receiving their second shot.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people age 18 or older who received 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine should get an additional primary dose 4 weeks after receiving their second shot.

Immunocompromised groups include organ transplant recipients, those taking certain medications that weaken the immune system, and those with conditions that cause a similar level of immune suppression. People who have a moderately or severely compromised immune system may schedule an appointment for a third dose.

While studies show the additional third dose may increase protection for someone with a weakened immune system, these people may still be at risk of getting COVID-19. Therefore, they should continue to wear masks, social distance, avoid crowds, and avoid close contact with people who have not been vaccinated.

Please talk to your doctor about your medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is right for you.

> Getting a third dose: see CDC/FDA recommendations

COVID-19 vaccine booster shot

The CDC is recommending a booster shot for everyone age 5 or older. For people 18 or older, mixing of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers has also been authorized. People who received 2 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or any of the World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccines can get a different brand for their booster dose.

UCHealth is offering the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 12 or older.

Recommended timing for first booster dose:

  • 5 months after receiving a second primary dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccine.
  • 2 months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The FDA has authorized a second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 50 or older and for people 12 or older with a moderately to severely compromised immune system. New evidence suggests that a second booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19.

Second booster dose recommendations:

  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be given to anyone 50 or older at least 4 months after their first booster dose.
  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may be given to people 12 or older with a moderately to severely compromised immune system, at least 4 months after their first booster dose.
  • A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be given to people 18 or older with a moderately to severely compromised immune system, at least 4 months after their first booster dose.

Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.

For more information on who should get a booster shot, visit the state of Colorado’s vaccine booster eligibility page.


With the goal of helping organizations deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to their communities,
we developed a playbook to share our learnings from successful mass vaccination events.

Get answers to your COVID-19 vaccine questions

These questions and answers are updated as new information is available.

The COVID-19 vaccine: When, where, and who?

COVID-19 vaccine - when, where, who icon | UCHealth

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

UCHealth is currently providing COVID-19 vaccines to anyone age 12 or older.

What COVID-19 vaccines can I get from UCHealth?

UCHealth is providing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

About the COVID-19 vaccines

What are the different COVID-19 vaccine options?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued full approval for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (now called Comirnaty) for people who are age 16 or older, and full approval for use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (now called Spikevax) for people who are age 18 or older.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for children age 5 through 15.

The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine is available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for people age 18 or older. As of May 2022, the FDA has stated that the J&J COVID-19 vaccine should only be given to people who cannot get a different vaccine or who specifically request the J&J vaccine.

What is the difference between an EUA and FDA approval?

For an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization), the FDA must determine that the vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19; that the benefits outweigh the risks; and that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. The standard of review is higher for FDA approval. In order for the FDA to approve a vaccine, there must be substantial evidence of safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality.

An EUA may be issued by the FDA based on interim results from clinical trials. FDA approval requires that clinical trials be finished.

Which COVID-19 vaccine is best?

The CDC has advised that the safest and most effective COVID-19 vaccines are the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. UCHealth is offering only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may be available for people who have had allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines, or where mRNA vaccines are not available.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines that are being developed all made the same way?

How was a vaccine for COVID-19 developed so quickly?

How many initial doses will I need of the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require 2 doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires 1 dose. Individuals with a weakened immune system may need an additional dose.

COVID-19 vaccine safety

COVID-19 vaccine safety icon - UCHealth

How do we know COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

Clinical trials are evaluating COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants. Information from these trials will allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to decide how safe and effective they are. Ongoing, long-term monitoring will continue as it does for all vaccine development. No steps in the normal vaccine development process have been skipped or shortened.

Will the findings of the COVID-19 vaccine trials be made public and reviewed by independent experts?

All phase 3 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates are overseen by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). This board acts across all of the trials for all of the sponsors. The FDA and vaccine manufacturers are releasing data from their trials publicly.

Did the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials include people of color?

Additional vaccine safety FAQs

Should I be worried about a severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?

Severe allergic reactions were not common during COVID-19 vaccine trials. They occurred more frequently after the second dose. We recommend that you stay at your appointment for about 5-10 minutes of observation after getting the vaccine.

If you have a history of a severe allergic reaction to another vaccine, you should talk to your doctor or provider to see if getting the COVID-19 vaccine makes sense for you.

The CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions, that are not related to vaccines or injectable medications (such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies) should still get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.

Are COVID-19 vaccinations safe for pregnant people and nursing mothers?

Yes. There is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccines cause problems for those who are pregnant or nursing. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19 infection. In addition, protective antibodies to COVID-19 have been shown to cross the placenta and give protection to the baby after delivery.

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you may choose to be vaccinated. Please discuss with your doctor so that you can make an informed decision.

> Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Could the COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems?

No. There is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccines cause problems for those trying to get pregnant. The vaccine does not get incorporated into or change the DNA of the body’s cells in any way. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to delay getting pregnant after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Data shows that during the Pfizer vaccine trial for example, some women in the study became pregnant. For those that received the vaccine and not the placebo, none of them suffered a pregnancy loss.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

In general, the side effects for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are similar, and are like those of the flu shot. The most commonly reported side effects are pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. They usually last only a few days.

You may experience more side effects after the second dose. This is expected and was seen in studies of these vaccines. These side effects usually only last 1 to 3 days at most. Contact your doctor, health care provider or schedule a virtual visit if:

  • The redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours.
  • Your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.
  • You have any cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of taste or smell – these are not side effects we see from the vaccine. These could be symptoms of COVID-19 not related to the vaccine, and you should contact your provider to find out if you should be tested.

After you receive the vaccine, you can take a pain reliever for any symptoms that are bothersome. Current data suggests that acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the best pain reliever to take within 48 hours of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

We recommend that you stay at your appointment for about 5 – 10 minutes of observation after getting the vaccine. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.

I am allergic to the flu vaccine. Do you think there will be a problem with getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Unlike most of the flu vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines are not made using egg-based products. If you are allergic to any vaccines, or have other conditions you are concerned may impact your response to the COVID vaccine, you should talk with your doctor before signing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Is a COVID-19 vaccine safe for me? Could it interfere with any of my medications or medical conditions?

Clinical trials are evaluating COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants. Trial volunteers include people with lots of different medical conditions. Information from these trials will allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to decide how safe and effective they are. Ongoing, long-term monitoring will continue as it does for all vaccine development. No steps in the normal vaccine development process have been skipped or shortened. If you have any concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your doctor or provider.

What can I do to prepare before getting my COVID-19 vaccine?

One of the best things to do before getting a COVID-19 vaccination is to stay hydrated, and follow these tips.

Additional vaccine information for children age 5 or older

The Pfizer vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization for children age 5 through 17. Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for children?

Yes. The Pfizer vaccine trial results show that the vaccine is safe and effective for children age 5 or older. The recent Pfizer trial included thousands of children ages 5 through 17. Trial results show that the vaccine was 90.7 percent effective. Of the group that received the vaccine (and not the placebo), three of them got COVID-19 compared to 16 who received the placebo.

Children had side effects similar to young adults. The main side effects are pain at injection site, fever, and feeling achy or tired. These were felt more often after the second dose of the vaccine and went away within a few days.

How many doses will children need of a COVID-19 vaccine?

Children age 5 to 17 will need 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, given 3-8 weeks apart. A booster dose is recommended for children age 5 or older, 5 months after their second primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Children don’t get very sick with COVID-19. Why should I get my child vaccinated?

While children are at a lower risk of serious illness from COVID-19, they make up a larger share of the new cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. as more adults get vaccinated. Children can still have symptoms and spread the virus to the adults around them. And doctors don’t always know which children are more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19 and need hospital care. Getting a vaccine will lower the chance of illness for all children and the community.

People under age 21 make up about 25% of the U.S. population. If many children get a COVID-19 vaccine, the chance of reaching herd immunity – when lots of people are immune to a disease – goes up.

There are many safe and effective vaccines for children for diseases like whooping cough, measles and meningitis. Providing vaccines for COVID-19 will become a standard measure of care to protect children.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility in children?

No. The vaccine does not get combined into or change the DNA of the body’s cells in any way. There is no reason to worry that the vaccine will affect your child’s ability to have babies (fertility).

My child already had COVID-19. Should they get the vaccine?

Yes. We don’t know how long immunity lasts after someone gets COVID-19. The vaccine is made to create a longer-lasting immune response.

My child is a not a patient at UCHealth. Can they get a vaccine at a UCHealth vaccine clinic?

Yes. Your child does not need to be a UCHealth patient in order to get a vaccine. Please schedule an appointment through My Health Connection.

How can I schedule a vaccine appointment for my child?

Scheduling an appointment for children ages 12 and 13:

  • If your child has a My Health Connection account, they can schedule a vaccine on the appointments page. Or a parent or guardian can schedule for them by selecting their name from their personal My Health Connection account.
  • If your child doesn’t have a My Health Connection account, learn how to set up family access.

Scheduling an appointment for children ages 14 through 17:

  • If your child has a My Health Connection account, they can schedule a vaccine on the appointments page.
  • If your child doesn’t have a My Health Connection account:
    • Your child must have a My Health Connection account, or sign up for an account here.
    • Once they have an account, your child can schedule a vaccine in My Health Connection on the website or the UCHealth mobile app.

For their first dose at a UCHealth vaccine clinic, your child must:

Is the Pfizer vaccine dose different for 5- through 11-year-olds compared to the previously authorized dose for children 12 and older?

The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old is given as a 2-dose series, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for people 12 and older (30 micrograms).

COVID-19 vaccine distribution

COVID-19 vaccine distribution icon - UCHealth

Who is UCHealth currently vaccinating?

UCHealth is currently providing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to anyone age 12 or older.

How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, please use My Health Connection, UCHealth’s online patient portal, to see available appointments. You do not need to be a UCHealth patient in order to get a vaccine.

Can I walk in and get a COVID-19 vaccination?

At this time, UCHealth vaccine clinics are not accepting walk-in patients. Please schedule an appointment for your vaccination.


Vaccine Clinic Information – Appointment Required

PLEASE NOTE: All people under 18 must have a parent or guardian with them for their first dose at a UCHealth vaccine clinic, OR have a parent or guardian print and sign the Vaccine Consent Form for Minors (versión en español) and bring it with them.

Location Directions Dates and Hours
University of Colorado Hospital
12605 E. 16th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
Vaccine clinic: Bruce Schroffel Conference Center – Located in the Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 2.

Parking: Park in lot 6, valet or garage 8 (employee garage)

Go to My Health Connection to see available appointments.
Medical Center of the Rockies
2500 Rocky Mountain Avenue
Loveland, CO 89538
Vaccine clinic: Navajo Peak Conference Room

Parking: Use the main entrance. Valet parking available.

Go to My Health Connection to see available appointments.
Yampa Valley Medical Center
1024 Central Park Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Vaccine clinic: Pharmacy

Parking: Use the main entrance

Go to My Health Connection to see available appointments.
Memorial Administrative Center (MAC)
2420 E. Pikes Peak Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Vaccine clinic: Cuchara Room

Parking: Park in the main lot. Use West entrance.

Go to My Health Connection to see available appointments.

I missed my appointment for my second dose of the vaccine. What should I do?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require a second primary dose, and we strongly recommend that you get both doses of the vaccine to help stop the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Please use My Health Connection, UCHealth’s online patient portal, to reschedule your Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

What is the recommended timing between a first and second dose? Can I get my second dose early?

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require 2 doses. The CDC advises that the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine can be given 3 to 8 weeks after the first dose. For people 18 and older, the second dose of the Moderna vaccine can be given 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose. A second dose should not be given earlier than 17 days after the first dose for the Pfizer vaccine, and 24 days after the first dose for the Moderna vaccine.

How can I cancel my appointment?

Please go to your My Health Connection account to cancel your appointment. If you are unable to cancel it in My Health Connection, call UCHealth at 720.462.2255 for assistance.

How can I reschedule my appointments?

If you need to reschedule, you need to cancel your appointments in My Health Connection first and then complete the scheduling steps again.

Once I’m vaccinated, where can I find my vaccination record and QR code?

If you receive the COVID-19 vaccine through UCHealth, “Your COVID-19 Information” page will show your vaccination record and QR code. It will also show the results of any COVID-19 nasal swab or antibody tests you have had at UCHealth.

  • My Health Connection mobile app: Click “Your COVID-19 Information” on the home screen.
  • My Health Connection desktop: Go to “Your Menu,” then select “Your COVID-19 Information.”

How can I get help getting to or from a vaccine clinic?
* We will continue to update this list as more resources and regions are added.

IntelliRide (Medicaid-reimbursed ride; Region: Any location in Colorado)

    • If you have active Medicaid benefits, call IntelliRide to schedule a ride to your appointment. You must schedule your ride at least 2 business days in advance.
    • Call: 303.398.2155

Elder Concierge (Self-pay, all ages, Region: Metro Denver)

    • Elder Concierge will take you to and from appointments. Cost is $65 an hour (self-pay only) within the Metro Denver region. Call to schedule.
    • Call: 720.569.1005

Via Transport (No cost ride for ages 60+, Region: Denver/Boulder)

    • Rides available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Call Via Transport to get registered in the system and schedule a ride. Rides are available Monday through Friday in the Denver/Boulder area.
    • Call: 303.444.3043

Access-a-Ride through RTD (No cost ride for members, Region: Metro Denver)

    • If you are an Access-a-Ride member, you can call and schedule a ride to any vaccine clinic in the Metro Denver area.
    • Call: 303.292.6560

Envida (Medicaid reimbursed ride, Region: Colorado Springs)

    • If you are a Health First Colorado (Medicaid) client, call Envida to schedule a ride to your appointment.
    • Call: 719.633.4677

COVID-19 vaccine and your health

COVID-19 and your health icon - UCHealth

I am immunocompromised. What is the recommended timing between doses?

For children age 5-11 (Pfizer vaccine): 3 weeks between 1st and 2nd dose, 4 weeks between 2nd and 3rd dose, 3 months between the 3rd and 4th dose. UCHealth is only providing COVID-19 vaccines for people age 12 or older.

For people age 12 or older (Pfizer vaccine): 3 weeks between 1st and 2nd dose, 4 weeks between 2nd and 3rd dose, 3 months between 3rd and 4th dose, 4 months between 4th and 5th dose.

For people age 18 or older (Moderna vaccine): 4 weeks between 1st and 2nd dose, 4 weeks between 2nd and 3rd dose, 3 months between 3rd and 4th dose, 4 months between 4th and 5th dose.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people age 18 or older who received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine should get an additional dose of any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines at least 2 months after their single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot. Followed by 1 booster dose with either Pfizer or Moderna, 2 months after the second dose.

I am immunocompromised. Should I get a third primary vaccine dose?

Guidance for the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines has been updated to include a third primary dose for people with a moderately to severely compromised immune system. This includes organ transplant recipients, those taking certain medications that weaken the immune system, and those with conditions that cause a similar level of immune suppression.

Studies show the third primary dose may increase protection for someone with a weakened immune system.

> Getting a third dose: see CDC/FDA recommendations

I am immunocompromised and got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Should I get an additional vaccine dose?

For people who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, an additional dose of any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines is recommended for everyone age 18 or older who was vaccinated 2 or more months ago.

Who is considered immunocompromised?

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people include people who:

  • Are receiving cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Have received a stem cell or bone marrow transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Have an advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Are receiving treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune response.

Please talk to your doctor about your medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is right for you. If you are currently receiving chemotherapy treatments or have recently been treated with certain immunosuppressant medications, your doctor may advise you to wait until a time when your immune system is better able to respond to the vaccine.

What is a booster shot?

A booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine after a person has completed their primary vaccination series. An additional dose “boosts” your immune system, creating better protection against an illness. It’s normal for some vaccines to wane or become slightly less effective over time. Research by the COVID-19 vaccine makers and scientists is showing that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are waning several months after recipients get their first doses. Because of new infections and waning effectiveness of some COVID-19 vaccines, FDA and CDC experts are recommending a booster dose for many people.

Who should get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC is recommending a booster shot for everyone age 5 or older. UCHealth is offering booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 12 or older who received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 5 months ago, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago, or any of the World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccines at least 5 months ago.

Log in to My Health Connection and click on Appointments > Schedule Appointment.

For more information on who should get an additional dose, visit the state of Colorado’s vaccine booster eligibility page.

Who should get a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

The FDA has authorized a second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 50 or older and for people 12 or older with a moderately to severely compromised immune system, to be given at least 4 months after the first booster dose. New evidence suggests that a second booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19.

What is the recommended dose for a third dose or booster shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

For the first 2 doses, the recommended dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 100 micrograms (mcg). For immunocompromised people, the recommended third dose of the Moderna vaccine is 100 micrograms (mcg), given about one month after the second dose. After the 2-dose series (3 doses for immunocompromised people), the recommended dose of the Moderna vaccine is 50 micrograms (mcg).

Can I get my COVID-19 vaccine and my flu shot at the same time?

Yes, the CDC says people can get the flu shot and other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that you get one shot in each arm.

UCHealth COVID-19 vaccine clinics are not offering flu shots at this time. Drug stores and other vaccine providers may offer both at the same time.

How much will a COVID-19 vaccine reduce the risks or complications of COVID-19?

Clinical trials have shown that all the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and safe.

Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting very sick, even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Are pregnant women at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19?

Yes, pregnant women and recently pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to those who are not pregnant. Pregnant women with COVID-19 are 15 times more likely to die, 14 times more likely to need to be intubated, and 22 times more likely to have pre-term birth than those who don’t have COVID-19, according to a recent study.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require 2 doses. Will I have any protection after the first dose?

Clinical trials have shown the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may provide limited protection after 1 dose. Two doses are required for the primary series.

After I get the vaccine, how long does it take before I have full protection?

You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and 2 weeks after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A booster dose is recommended 5 months later for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and 2 months later for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Can I get COVID-19 even after getting the vaccine?

It often takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after getting the vaccine. That means a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after getting the vaccine and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

We are seeing breakthrough infections, where someone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 tests positive for the virus. However, the vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself from severe illness and hospitalization.

Additional vaccine and your health FAQs

Do I need to still wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

According to current public health recommendations:

  • To maximize protection from the current variants and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of high transmission.
  • Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system, if you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your home has a weakened immune system.
  • You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules or local guidance.
  • Fully vaccinated people will continue to wear a mask in all UCHealth facilities.

Will the COVID-19 vaccines protect me against new versions (mutations) of the COVID-19 virus?

At this time, experts believe the COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be effective against new versions of the COVID-19 virus. However, we are seeing breakthrough infections, where someone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 tests positive for the virus. The vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself from severe illness and hospitalization.

If I already had COVID-19 and have recovered from it, do I need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. If you’ve already been sick with COVID-19, you may be able to get sick again. And your second infection may be worse than your first. There is significant concern that variants of the COVID-19 virus are both more contagious and more serious than the original strain.

We don’t know how long immunity lasts after someone gets COVID-19. The vaccine is made to create a longer-lasting immune response. Studies have shown that people who have mild cases of COVID-19 have less immune response than those who have serious cases including hospitalization. The length of time that this natural immunity lasts also varies, and may only last a few months.

UCHealth experts recommend that everyone get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if you already had COVID-19.

We’ll get through this together