COVID-19 Vaccine

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Updated Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Everyone 16+ is Eligible

All the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. They reduce your risk of getting the virus, particularly in severe forms. Get the first one you can schedule.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two shots, 21- and 28-days apart respectively. Don’t leave your first appointment without knowing when and where you’ll get your second shot.
  • The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine requires a single shot.
  • Only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for those 16-18. All the vaccines are approved for 18 and up.

Finding a Vaccine Location: What to Expect

  • The process will depend on the location you choose. Follow directions carefully.
  • The vaccine is free, and you don’t need an ID or health insurance to get it.
  • Vaccines are usually administered by appointment, but some locations accept walk-ins.
Find a Vaccine Location

DHEC Vaccination Line
1-866-365-8110
Everyday, 7am-7pm

Get answers to vaccine questions or help finding a vaccine provider.

Until enough of us are vaccinated, wear your mask, stay 6 feet from others, and avoid crowds.

That said, once you’re fully vaccinated, you can start doing some of the things you enjoyed before the pandemic.

After You’ve Been Vaccinated

Safe & Effective

The COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.

We understand that some people may be concerned about the new COVID-19 vaccines. Know that routine procedures are in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine in use, and the COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as all vaccines.

The COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants—of different ages, races, and ethnicities—in clinical trials. While the vaccines were developed quickly, none of the clinical trial phases were skipped. The vaccines met the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.

Over 230 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S. These vaccines are undergoing the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.

Protect yourself, protect others, and help stop the pandemic. Get vaccinated ASAP.

Get the Vax Facts

Fight vaccine misinformation. Turn to trusted public health resources for the facts you need.

No. None of the authorized vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so they cannot give you COVID-19.

After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Side effects are typically mild to moderate, occur within the first 3 days beginning the day of the vaccination, and resolve within 1-2 days of onset. Some people have no side effects. Common side effects on the arm where you received the shot include pain, redness, and swelling. Throughout the rest of your body, you may feel tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. For more information, please see the CDC's  Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our body how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity against COVID-19.

Health experts and scientists have been monitoring the presence and significance of various genetic strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the beginning of the pandemic. Scientists are still working to better understand how widespread the latest variants of interest are and their impacts on existing therapies, vaccines, and tests.

Early research indicates that the currently available vaccines provide a level of protection from COVID-19 disease, but the full impact is still being evaluated. Learn the latest about variants from CDC.

Yes. Once they have completed their isolation period, people previously infected with COVID-19 may receive the vaccine. According to the CDC, people appear to become susceptible to reinfection after more than 90 days from the time they were initially infected. Reinfection appears to be rare during the first 90 days after someone was infected with COVID-19.

No. COVID-19 vaccines to not change or interact with your DNA in any way. The vaccines teach our bodies how to protect against future COVID infections. Learn more about how the vaccines work from the CDC.

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