It’s okay to have questions.
Everyone deserves answers.

Safe. Effective. Free.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and 100% free for all residents of California’s 58 counties. Read on to learn more about why the vaccine is one of our most powerful tools to ending the pandemic.

Find out how to get vaccinated.

Get notified when it’s your turn and make an appointment.

Get started

Millions of Californians have already been vaccinated. Are you ready?

Main content

Last Updated: March 22, 2021

Why get vaccinated?

Do it for yourself, your family, and your community. When you’re vaccinated against COVID-19, you protect yourself from a deadly disease. Vaccinate to stop the spread to your friends, your family, your elders, and the people who work hard to keep our communities safe and open.

Vaccination helps us get to community-wide protection (sometimes called herd immunity) much more quickly, saving millions of lives. When enough individuals become vaccinated, it adds up to protection for everyone.

Vaccination is one of the most important steps in ending the pandemic

Each person that gets vaccinated brings us closer to a post-pandemic world.

More benefits of vaccination

  • Your chances of being hospitalized with COVID-19 become almost zero
  • You will not pass the disease to the elderly or those with medical conditions, who could get very sick or die
  • COVID-19 cases will drop, and schools and businesses will safely reopen
  • We can all get back to the things we love

From nurses, teachers, and farmworkers to many more people in our communities, hear why Californians have gotten vaccinated.

Nurse Ashley


Leading scientists and medical experts in both the U.S. and California confirm the vaccines are safe and effective.

See the evidence
People in masks waving at the camera

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have gone through extensive clinical trials and the most intensive safety review in U.S. history. Technological advancements in science and an unprecedented amount of resources made the development of vaccines in under a year possible.

Before release, they were tested in tens of thousands of participants of different ages, races, genders, and ethnicities. Most people report no side effects, or only mild ones.

You cannot get COVID-19 from a vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the virus, and cannot give you COVID-19.

How we know they’re safe

  • Millions of people in the United States have been safely vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Everyone who receives a vaccine is observed while on-site for side effects
  • Reported side effects have been mild, and are a normal sign that your body is building immunity
  • These vaccines were built on years of research -- no safety step was skipped

Hear why Dr. Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, chose to get vaccinated.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, speaks about vaccine safety and her choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine.


The vaccines do not interact with your DNA in any way.

See the evidence

Are they effective?

Yes. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases that are already there, vaccines prevent them. The vaccines are highly effective at preventing you from getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Be sure to get all required doses of a vaccine.

For full protection, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine require two shots, spaced a few weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one shot.

Vaccine effectiveness

All three authorized vaccines have shown high efficacy against severe COVID-19.

No vaccinated person died due to COVID-19 during studies of these three vaccines.


Every vaccine now given in the United States or California prevents hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

See the evidence
Woman in mask in car getting a covid test

How can I get vaccinated?

Vaccination is open to all and free. If you live or work in California, it’s your right to get vaccinated.

Here's how to get started:

Sign up for the vaccine

Vaccinations are prioritized by who’s at the highest risk. Vaccination is open for all Californians aged 50 and up April 1st, and 16 and up April 15th.

See if it's your turn to get vaccinated and make an appointment at

Schedule your appointment

Find more vaccine providers near you

If it is your turn to be vaccinated, and you need more appointment options near you, check VaccineFinder.

Find local providers


The vaccine is free to all Californians.

See the evidence

Questions and answers

Still have questions?

Everyone deserves answers. Visit California’s COVID-19 Vaccines webpage or call the COVID-19 Hotline at (833) 422-4255.

Share more about COVID-19 vaccines and why they’re so important. Visit the COVID-19 Response Toolkit page to find images and videos you can post on social media and use in communities across California.