What Is the Vaccination Process Like?

The Three Different Options

The three vaccine types available are Pfizier-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson. There are slight differences between each type, but they all help your body recognize and counter the COVID-19 virus.

Pfzier-BioNTech (mRNA)


  • Must be 12 years of age or older


  • 2 doses
  • 21 days between each dose


  • >91% for those 16 and older
  • >89% for those with health conditions

Moderna (mRNA)


  • Must be 18 years of age or older


  • 2 doses
  • 28 days between each dose


  • >90% for those with health conditions
  • >94% for everyone else

Johnson & Johnson (Vector)


  • Must be 18 years of age or older


  • 1 dose


  • >65% effectiveness

mRNA vs Vector: What’s the Difference?

Vaccines work by teaching your body to recognize harmful viruses; this can be done with mRNA or a vector. In the mRNA approach, the vaccine delivers messenger RNA that contain instructions for recognizing the COVID-19 virus. Your body then breaks down the messenger RNA, but will remember the instructions it was given.

In the vector approach, a vector delivers the instructions. A vector is a type of virus that has been modified to not be harmful, and contains DNA inside it. Your body will attack the vector, and retrieve the DNA instructions within it.

In both methods, instructions on how to recognize the COVID-19 virus will be delivered to your body’s immune system; what changes is how it is delivered. mRNA vaccines deliver the instructions directly to your cells, and vector vaccines deliver the instructions by carrying them in a modified and harmless virus.

How Do I Prepare for My Vaccine Appointment?

Here is a list of things to do before your appointment.

  1. Prepare your forms of identification. You will need something that contains:
    • Picture ID and your name
    • your age
  2. Make sure you are hydrated and have had a meal.
  3. Wear short-sleeved clothing, or clothing that makes it easy to expose your upper arm.
  4. Arrive around 15 minutes early for your appointment.

Where Can I Get My Vaccine?

Everyone 12 years or older is now eligible for the vaccine. There are a variety of ways to secure your vaccination appointment. Read on to learn more.

Vaccine Availability in CA

COVID-19 Hotline: 1-833-422-4255

Local drugstores and pharmacies may offer the vaccine. Please Register below to be notified when you are eligible for the vaccine, or click on Find Locations to find vaccination locations.

What Happens After I’m Vaccinated?

Side Effects

Because the vaccine is showing your body how to fight COVID-19, you will likely feel some side effects after your first shot as your body learns the information. Because COVID-19 is a virus unlike any other, it’s common for side effects to be intense. You may feel like you have the flu. Side-effects include:

  • pain or soreness in the arm that received the shot
  • body aches
  • chills
  • headache
  • fever