The COVID-19 Vaccine

Protect Yourself and Others

Studies have shown that all of the COVID-19 vaccines effectively help prevent you from becoming infected with COVID-19. Being protected by the vaccine is important because even though many people with COVID-19 only develop mild illness, others may become severely ill, experience life-threatening symptoms, or die. 

There is no way of knowing how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications.  If you do contract COVID-19, the vaccine will help prevent long-term complications, life-threatening symptoms and death.

Getting the Vaccine or Booster

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Free COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone age five and up.  COVID vaccines are offered at over 200 medical offices, community clinics, pharmacies, Public Health clinics, and mobile clinics across Ventura County. 

How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment:

Most vaccination providers, including pharmacies, are accepting walk-ins or same-day appointments.  You are encouraged to call ahead for an appointment to ensure availability of your vaccine dose. 

Where can I get the COVID-19 booster? 

It is recommended that all persons over the age of 16 receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after completing their first two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series or two months after receiving a dose of Johnson & Johnson. 

How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Appointment:

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine or booster, please visit:

Vaccine Basics

How many COVID-19 vaccines are currently available?

Currently, three vaccines are authorized for the prevention of COVID-19 in the United States:

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are also still under development. As of December 28, 2020, the following large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress for additional COVID-19 vaccines in the United States:

  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine (authorized outside of the US)
  • Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine​

Allergen information

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines authorized to prevent COVID-19 in the United States do not contain:

  • Eggs
  • Preservatives
  • Latex
  • Thimerosal

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine authorized to prevent COVID-19 in the United States does not contain:

  • Eggs
  • Preservatives
  • Latex

Understanding how COVID-19 vaccines work

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to be infected with the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if you are infected in the future.

The COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19                

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development or in use in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development however, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.

Receiving a viral vector vaccine cannot cause you to become infected with COVID-19 or with the adenovirus that is being used as the vector.

As your body begins to build immunity against the COVID-19 virus, you may have some side effects, such as fever, chills, or tiredness. These symptoms are normal and should go away in a few days.

COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on a COVID-19 viral test

None of the vaccines authorized for the prevention of COVID-19 in the United States, nor the vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States cause you to test positive on viral tests. Viral tests are used to evaluate individuals for current COVID-19 infection.​

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.

Getting Vaccinated

What should I expect when I receive the vaccine for COVID-19?

Upon receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may feel like the flu and might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in just a few days. Common side effects include:

On the arm where you received the shot:

  • Pain
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Helpful tips:

To reduce pain and discomfort at the injection site, use or exercise your arm regularly. To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids. If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

When to call the doctor:

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

All people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on site. People who have had severe allergic reactions or who have had any type of immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy should be monitored for at least 30 minutes after getting the vaccine. All other people should be monitored for at least 15 minutes after getting the vaccine.

Once I have been vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with others?

No, you should continue to follow all state and local masking and social distancing guidelines and/or mandates even after you have been fully vaccinated and/or received the booster.