Get answers to your latest COVID-19 vaccine questions and wear your badge of honor with pride.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine right now?
Anyone age 6 months and older is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
How do I make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine?
I need to cancel or reschedule an upcoming appointment at an IU Health location. How can I do that?
If you’ve made an appointment at one of our COVID-19 vaccine clinics, call 211 to cancel or reschedule at any time. You can also reschedule or cancel your appointment online. If it is 48 hours or fewer before your appointment, follow the link in the reminder notice that you get by text or email to cancel or reschedule.
How do I view my COVID-19 vaccine records?
Lost your COVID-19 vaccine card? Need proof of your COVID-19 vaccine?
Visit the state of Indiana’s Access Indiana services and choose Indiana Vaccination Portal to get your vaccination certificate. Sign in or create an account, then complete the form to verify your identity. You can then download your vaccination certificate.
IU Health shares all vaccine records with the Indiana vaccination registry. The Indiana State Department of Health notes that the data availability on the vaccination portal may be delayed by up to 24 hours.
Or, My IU Health displays all immunizations that are included in your IU Health medical record. If you’ve recently had an IU Health encounter, your COVID-19 vaccine information can be found in My IU Health via Health Services, then select “Medical Record” from the main menu. Your COVID-19 vaccine details should be displayed in the “Immunizations” section within the “Clinical Record Summary”.
Who is eligible for a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Booster shots are available to anyone 5 and older who completed their original vaccine series at least five months ago.
We strongly encourage all eligible people to get a booster shot. Research is showing the COVID-19 vaccines require a booster dose to be most effective.
The following people are also eligible for a second booster shot if they received their first booster at least 4 months ago:
- People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for their first shot and booster
- Adults ages 50 years and older
- People age 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
You can find a vaccine location near you by visiting ourshot.in.gov and clicking “Click here to find a vaccination site" near the top of the page. Many locations offer walk-in vaccine opportunities.
Can I mix and match my booster shot?
Yes, if you are eligible for a vaccine booster, you can choose which vaccine you get.
For example, if you originally received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you may choose to get a Johnson & Johnson booster, but you may also choose to receive one from either Pfizer or Moderna if you have a preference.
Why do I need a booster shot?
The current vaccines work very well to protect against hospitalization and death. But experts are starting to see an increase in cases of mild and moderate disease. A booster shot gives vaccinated people protection over the coming months.
What to Expect
I have an upcoming COVID-19 vaccine appointment at an IU Health location. Where can I find directions and location information?
All COVID-19 vaccine appointments must be scheduled through the Indiana Department of Health website. The COVID-19 vaccine locations provided by IU Health are offered at locations around the state.
Find directions, parking information and what to expect when you arrive: Find your IU Health COVID-19 vaccine location.
How should I prepare for my COVID-19 appointment? What should I bring with me?
You’ll receive an email or text notification to provide additional details and complete your consent in advance. Complete this information before your appointment to avoid having to complete it in person at the clinic site.
What should I bring with me?
You should bring a photo ID card and your insurance card to your appointment.
How much will the vaccine cost?
The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to you. You will not have to pay a fee or any other extra charge. We will collect insurance information to bill a small administration fee to your insurance company, but no cost will be charged to you.
Is there anything else I should know?
You may want to coordinate with your employer to stagger time away from work and ensure appropriate staffing. Potential side effects are mild. For vaccines with two doses, the side effects may be more apparent after the second dose.
When you arrive, tell the vaccine provider if you are ill or have ever had a severe allergic reaction.
How much will the vaccine cost?
The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to you. You will not have to pay a fee or any other extra charge. The federal government has arranged to buy the vaccine and provide it to every individual who wants it.
If you have insurance, bring your insurance card. We will collect the information to bill a small administration fee to your insurance company, but no cost will be charged to you.
Can I get the vaccine if I don't have insurance?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to you. You will not have to pay a fee or any other extra charge. The federal government has arranged to buy the vaccine and provide it to every individual who wants it.
Will I be able to choose which vaccine I get?
You are able to see the vaccine(s) available at each location when you schedule your appointment at ourshot.in.gov.
How are the vaccines administered?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the vaccine.
How will I schedule my second vaccination, if needed?
If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you will schedule an appointment for your second dose while at your first appointment. Keep this in mind when selecting a day/time for your first appointment. You need to be available to return to the same location 21 days after your first appointment (Pfizer vaccine), or 28 days later (Moderna vaccine).
The second dose for these vaccines should be given within the recommended time frame. According to the CDC, if it is not feasible to adhere to that interval, the vaccines may be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose.
Does a parent/guardian need to be present for a minor child (under age 18) to receive a vaccine? Do they need to provide consent?
A parent/guardian must consent for children under the age of 18 to receive a vaccine during registration. The preference is that the parent/guardian be with the minor at the vaccination site.
We understand this may not always be possible and in those cases parents/guardians can provide written or verbal authorization.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for all people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant now or in the future.
The CDC also says pregnant people with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness compared with non-pregnant people. Pregnant people with COVID-19 also might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant individuals without COVID-19. There is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
I’m breastfeeding or plan to be soon. Will the COVID-19 vaccine affect the safety of my breast milk?
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine report that there is no reason to believe that these vaccines affect the safety of breast milk. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the virus, so there is no risk of infecting your baby. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contain mRNA, but because mRNA is fragile, it is very unlikely that any part of the vaccine gets into breast milk.
When we have an infection or get a vaccine, our bodies make antibodies to fight the infection. Antibodies can pass into breast milk and then to the baby, and may help prevent infections.
What do IU Health experts recommend for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals?
IU Health supports the recommendations from the CDC. IU Health recommends that people who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult with their doctors on the right course of action for them. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals can sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine by visiting ourshot.in.gov.
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes, the vaccines are safe and effective. The FDA carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. Vaccines must complete three phases of testing through clinical trials involving thousands of patients to receive Emergency Use Authorization.
The clinical trials included tens of thousands of people across gender, age, race and ethnicity. The Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines showed effective results with only mild to moderate side effects. The data was also made public. This allowed our team of experts to review the results, confirming it is safe.
Why were the COVID-19 vaccines approved so quickly?
Though the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved quickly, it’s important to note that the clinical efficacy and quality of the product was not compromised. The COVID-19 vaccines are some of the most effective vaccines we’ve ever seen. Through the collaborative efforts of national and international organizations, many efficiencies were developed in the coordination of the process.
Some of these include:
- The technology does not require months of virus growth in the lab.
- Because COVID-19 was widespread, a large number of clinical trial participants were quickly enrolled within weeks instead of months or years.
- The vaccines were manufactured "at risk." This means the vaccines were manufactured while awaiting FDA approval so it could be shipped to hospitals within hours. Typically manufacturing that many doses would happen after approval.
These efficiencies helped to reduce the time it required for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to receive the vaccine.
I have a history of allergies or severe allergic reactions. Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
IU Health is following the CDC’s recommended guidance for vaccination and history of allergies or severe allergic reactions.
- If you have a history of allergies to oral medications, foods, pets, insects, venom, environment, latex, etc. you may proceed with vaccination; you will be observed for 15-30 minutes after vaccination.
- If you have a history of any immediate allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies (including anaphylaxis, a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction), you may proceed with vaccination under caution; additional questions may be asked and additional waiting room/observation time will be required for 30 minutes.
- If you have a history of allergy to any component of the vaccines, you should not get the vaccine at this time.
- If you have been prescribed an EpiPen, but have not had an anaphylactic reaction requiring EpiPen use or ER treatment with epinephrine, you may choose to get the vaccine. Additional questions may be asked and additional waiting room/observation time will be required for 30 minutes.
- If you have a severe allergic reaction, or an immediate allergic reaction of any severity, after receiving the first vaccine dose for Pfizer or Moderna, you should not receive the second dose.
Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Getting a vaccine is important for your own health because it will help keep you from getting COVID-19, and a vaccine is a safer way to help build protection against the virus.
Why should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Children are still at risk, and it’s hard to predict which kids infected with COVID-19 will develop severe symptoms that could lead to missing school or, in rare cases, hospitalization. Research on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 through 11 has shown that it is safe; no new safety problems were found in the studies.
After Your COVID-19 Vaccine
What can I expect after my COVID-19 vaccine?
By getting the vaccine you’ve made an important decision that will protect you and those around you. You may have a few questions like "What are the side effects?" "Can I still get COVID-19 after the vaccine?" "Do I still need to wear a mask?"
We answer all that and more for you here: What to Expect After COVID-19 Vaccine
Are there side effects after getting the vaccine?
After getting vaccinated, you may have some mild to moderate side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. In addition, you may have fever, chills, tiredness and headache.
How effective are the vaccines?
All vaccines currently approved for distribution in the US are safe and highly effective at preventing against severe illness from COVID-19.
With any vaccine, protection doesn’t happen immediately. It takes your body a few weeks to build up immunity.
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines offer full protection about two weeks after the second dose. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, protection against moderate/severe disease starts about two weeks after vaccination.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. The vaccines do not contain live virus.
After I get the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask and keep social distance?
It is important to continue wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing even though you or someone close may have received the vaccine.
Your body begins to build immunity after the injection, so it can take a few weeks to reach full effectiveness. We also don’t know how long the immunity from this vaccine lasts.
Therefore, these measures should continue to be taken until we have more information about this and until the majority of the population is vaccinated.
Watch: IU Health Experts Answer COVID-19 Vaccine Questions
IU Health experts address a number of topics including vaccine safety, efficacy and who will get the first doses.