Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19. If you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby. People who are pregnant should stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including getting a COVID-19 booster shot when it’s time to get one.
The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness. Evidence continues to build showing that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.
People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. More data are needed to determine what level of protection these antibodies may provide to the baby. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may might help you make an informed decision.
More information can be found here: Vaccination Considerations for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding | CDC
Severe reactions to any vaccine are very rare. Most people experience only mild side effects, such as a sore arm or mild headache.
After you receive your vaccine, you are required to remain on site for 15-30 minutes for observation. When severe allergic reactions do occur, they tend to happen in the minutes following your injection. Vaccination sites have trained medical personnel on site to help you if you should experience any level of allergic reaction.
If you should experience a reaction after you return home and do not have medical insurance, you can seek care from a local community health center or hospital, or a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center.
Muslim communities have expressed concern over the contents of some of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials and production around the world. At the center of their apprehension is whether the vaccines contain pig fat or pork products, which are prohibited under Islamic law.
On Dec. 23, 2020, the United Arab Emirates’ highest Islamic authority said that COVID-19 vaccines are permissible for Muslims, even if they contain pork gelatin. In other countries, including India, Muslim leaders are still debating their positions.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna do not use pork gelatin in their formulas. Gelatin from pork and cow products is often used in vaccines to stabilize the drug’s ingredients and ensure they remain effective through the distribution process. The two COVID-19 vaccines also do not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex.
For a full list of ingredients, please see each vaccine’s Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers:
Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. This type of vaccine (i.e. mRNA vaccine) has a unique modality making it safer than many. However, your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own <72 hours. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection for the disease.
If you received the Pfizer vaccine, then you should receive your second dose 21 days later.
If you received the Moderna vaccine, then you should received your second dose 28 days later.
Both injections must be from the same vaccine company (e.g. you cannot mix Moderna and Pfizer). While the 1st injection begins priming the immune system, the 2nd solidifies and sustains a more robust immune response. You are only partially protected with just one shot of Pfizer or Moderna. If you miss your second dose appointment, schedule one as soon as you can.
The mRNA vaccine has no impact on a person’s DNA. Messenger RNA (mRNA) allows cells to make proteins that trigger an immune response to the coronavirus, stopping it from entering a person’s cells. The first vaccines granted emergency use authorization (EUA) contain mRNA, which instructs cells to make the “spike protein” found on the new coronavirus. When the immune system recognizes this protein, it builds an immune response by creating antibodies — teaching the body how to protect against future infection. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. That means the mRNA does not affect or interact with your DNA in any way. COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to the virus, giving your cells a blueprint of how to make antibodies. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
No vaccine injections or nasal sprays – including shots for COVID-19 – contain microchips, nanochips, RFID trackers or devices that would track or control your body in any way. Shipments of vaccine doses are monitored as they are shipped and administered across the country but the notion that these shots will contain tracking devices implanted into people is false.
The following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination: Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR a photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device OR documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider or CAIR (California Immunization Registry).
It depends on the setting.
There are certain public indoor settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status:
- Health Care Settings
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
In indoor public spaces not listed above, masking requirements may vary.
- Businesses may choose to enforce their own policy regarding the universal use of face coverings for all visitors. In those situations, you will need to wear a mask.
- Businesses may choose to not enforce any mask use. In those situations, its strongly recommended that you continue wearing a mask but doing so is ultimately your choice.
For outdoor public settings, masks are not required but are strongly encouraged if the setting is crowded.
Visit the California Department of Public Health's webpage to see the state's current masking requirements.
When you receive your vaccination card, its strongly recommended you take a photo of the card, make a paper or electronic copy of the card, or scan and save the card in a cloud-based environment. Your COVID-19 immunization card is important for access to travel and event opportunities while the COVID-19 pandemic is still underway.
However, we know life happens and you may lose your card. The California Department of Public Health offers a new Digital COVID-19 vaccine record, available at myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov. You can use this tool to request a digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccine record.
See errors in your vaccine record? You can also correct or update your immunization record at cdph.ca.gov/covidvaccinerecord.
If the record you received is inaccurate or incomplete, you may need to correct or update your immunization record. Please contact your provider or request a review and update of your record by submitting the Troubleshooting Form. You may be contacted for additional information. You will be notified of findings and remediation actions within 2-3 weeks. Once the process is completed and your record updated, you can access it through the DCVR Portal (Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record Portal).
You can find troubleshooting tips at cdph.ca.gov/covidvaccinerecord or call 833-422-4255.
Yes, however, the guidelines differ based on whether the people you want to see are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
- With people who are up to date, you can gather indoors without masks.
With unvaccinated people or those who aren't up to date, you may gather indoors without masks with members of one household only -- as long as none of your unvaccinated friends/family are at high risk. However, if its a mixed group, meaning unvaccinated people among multiple households, its best that you continue wearing your mask and considering practicing social distancing just to be safe.
For more guidance on gatherings, visit our Celebrate Safely page.
At this time, researchers do not know whether the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to COVID-19; or if you are immune, how long it will last. In people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination, antibody testing is not recommended to determine whether you are immune or protected from COVID-19.
Federal and State regulatory agencies have provided authorization for certain groups to receive booster or third doses. Our Boosters and Third Doses webpage offers clarification on who is eligible to receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, who is eligible to receive a booster shot, the difference between third doses and booster shots, and where to get yours.
Update, March 30, 2022:
Today, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup (WSSSRW) approved a second booster dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups. The additional booster shot is for people who received their first booster more than four months ago and are:
- Age 50 & older
- Age 18 & older with moderate / severe immunosuppression
- Age 12-17 with moderate / severe immunosuppression (Pfizer booster only)
FDA and CDC's authorized a second booster dose for those groups on March 29. In addition, CDPH and CDC recommend anyone who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson at least four months ago is eligible to receive an additional Pfizer or Moderna booster dose.
Examples of moderate or severe immunosuppression include people on chemotherapy or who have had a solid organ transplant, like a kidney transplant or heart transplant. This also includes people who have an immunodeficiency, have an advanced or untreated HIV infection, or are undergoing treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other medications that suppress immune response.
Are you newly eligible for a second booster dose? Contact your doctor or medical provider to see if getting an additional booster dose is right for you. Marin County Public Health will begin offering second booster doses by appointment only at select locations beginning Thursday, March 31. If you meet these criteria, you can book your shot at My Turn.