Where can I get vaccinated?
All West Virginians 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines are available in all 55 counties through community vaccination clinics, community health centers, pharmacies, schools, workplaces, and/or other locations.
To find community health centers, local pharmacies, or other locations that carry COVID-19 vaccines, please visit vaccines.gov/search (formerly vaccinefinder.org) and enter your zip code. (Those 12 to 17 years of age will need to select "Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine" on this webpage.)
West Virginians may also call the WV COVID-19 Vaccines Info Line at 1-833-734-0965, call their local health department, and/or follow their local health departments on social media (as relevant) for more information about COVID-19 vaccination locations.
How is the COVID-19 vaccine administered?
COVID-19 vaccines are given through injections into the muscle, typically of the upper arm (i.e., intramuscular), as either a two-dose series or single dose. Each person receives the recommended dose set forth by the manufacturer.
Who will administer the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccine will be administered by a health care professional trained in giving an injection into the muscle.
How long between the 2-dose vaccines? What happens if I'm late for the second dose?
Pfizer-BioNTech. The Pfizer product requires a 2-dose vaccination series administered three weeks (21 days) apart. Administration of second dose is allowed within a 4-day grace period (meaning days 17-21) or after. If more than 21 days have passed since the first dose, the second dose should be administered at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to restart the series.
Moderna. The Moderna vaccine requires a 2-dose vaccination series administered one month (28 days) apart. Administration of second dose is allowed within a 4-day grace period (meaning days 24-28) or after. If more than 28 days have passed since the first dose, the second dose should be administered at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to restart the series.
Any individual who is late to receive their second dose will still mount an immune response upon receipt of the second dose. However, in the meantime between first and second doses, the individual will not have maximum protection against COVID-19. Further, the longer one waits after the recommended dosage period (3-4 weeks after the first dose), it is unknown how protected they will be. Thus it is advised for the second dose to be administered as close to the recommended time period as possible.
(Note: Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine only requires ONE dose.)
For 2-dose vaccines, what happens if I only receive one dose of the vaccine and not both?
It is recommended to receive both doses of the vaccine for maximum protection.
Can I get one dose of one mRNA vaccine (e.g., Pfizer) and the second dose of another mRNA vaccine (e.g., Moderna)?
Individuals should receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from the same manufacturer as the first dose. The COVID-19 vaccine products are not interchangeable. The safety and efficacy of mixing products in the vaccination series have not been evaluated. However, if two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are inadvertently administered, no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time. In certain rare situations, such as when the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series. Again, COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. In extremely rare situations, some people simply may not have documentation or know which vaccine they got for their first dose.
Recommendations may be updated as further information becomes available or other vaccine types (e.g., viral vector, protein subunit vaccines) are authorized. As further information becomes available and other vaccine types are authorized, recommendations may be updated.
Please note: The Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should not be used in place of the second dose for any mRNA vaccine. (However, if an individual experiences a contraindication with the first mRNa dose, in rare cases they may re-start vaccination with the single J&J/Janssen dose with guidance from a healthcare provider - see "Contraindications" and "Precautions" question).
Which COVID-19 vaccine should I receive?
All authorized COVID-19 vaccines are lifesaving vaccines. Individuals who are 12-17 years of age are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Those 18 and older can receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Research trials have shown all three vaccines are highly effective against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. Each was developed and evaluated at different points in time against different strains of COVID-19 within distinct geographic regions and populations. The CDC offers no preference among the authorized vaccines.
How will second dose appointments be offered?
Those who have received a first dose of a two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer or Moderna) need a second dose for maximum protection.
Some vaccination sites provide appointments for the second dose at the time of the first vaccination; however, individuals may also choose to receive the second dose at another location.
Anybody who received a first dose and is overdue for the second dose may call the WV COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965 for assistance.
Is taking the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?
No, The vaccine is not mandatory.