COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults

What Older Adults Need to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age.


This is why CDC recommends that adults 65 years and older are one of the first groups to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to help prevent getting sick from COVID-19. That said, it might take time before enough vaccines are made for everyone who wants to be vaccinated.

Older Adults with COVID Vaccines

Tips for how to get a COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Contact your state or local health department for more information.
  • Ask a family member or friend to help with scheduling an appointment.
  • Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center if they plan to provide vaccines and ask them to let you know when vaccines are available.

Information about COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults

You can help protect yourself and the people around you by getting the vaccine when it is available.

  • Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
  • Depending on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine you get, you might need a second shot 3 or 4 weeks after your first shot.

After getting the vaccine, some people have side effects. Common side effects include:

  • pain where the shot is given,
  • fever,
  • chills,
  • tiredness,
  • or a headache for 1-2 days.

These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. Learn more about what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine.

Masked Older Adults with COVID Vaccines

Even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you should still:

  • wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth when around others
  • stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • avoid crowds
  • avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • wash your hands often

We still have more to learn about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions, so it is important to continue to follow all safety recommendations to help stop the pandemic.

The vaccine is free of charge to people living in the United States. However, your vaccination provider may bill your insurance for administering the vaccine. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay this cost.

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