COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? We can help.

To start, we recommend you check out the Maricopa County Department of Public Health website – a great local resource with some of the most up-to-date information about the vaccine and distribution in the county. After you've done that, check out the following frequently asked questions that we hope you'll find helpful. And remember, you can always talk to your doctor for more information.

Need help finding a doctor? Search for a doctor or call 623-580-5800.

General questions

Q. Who is eligible?

A: The FDA has granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (now also being marketed as Comirnaty) for individuals 16 years of age and older and the Moderna vaccine (now also being marketed as Spikevax) for individuals 18 years of age and older. Additionally, the FDA has authorized emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those six months of age and older, and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Novavax vaccines for individuals 18 years of age and older.

For more information, visit the Maricopa County COVID-19 Vaccine page.

Q. Do I need a COVID-19 booster?

A: COVID-19 vaccine boosters can further enhance or restore protection that may have decreased over time after your primary series vaccination. People are best protected from severe COVID-19 illness when they stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting all recommended boosters when eligible. Eligibility varies based on age, medical history and vaccine brand. For more information, visit the CDC booster page.

Q. May I choose to get a booster that is different from the vaccination series I received?

A: Yes. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. According to the CDC, Pfizer or Moderna boosters are preferred, but you may get a Johnson & Johnson booster in some situations. For more information, reference the CDC's current booster recommendations.

Q. Where is the vaccine available?

A: The COVID-19 vaccines are available at many locations throughout the state, including traditional settings like retail pharmacies, larger doctor’s offices and neighborhood health centers that help bring the vaccine close to individuals’ homes or workplaces. Walk-ins are accepted at many locations, while others require an appointment, so we encourage you to check before you go. Find vaccine locations and appointments from:

Q. Is there a cost for the vaccine?

A: No. There is not a cost for the vaccine. However, you will enter your insurance or Medicare information during the scheduling process, as insurance or Medicare will be billed an administration fee. If you do not have insurance, the Health Resources and Services Administration, a government organization, will be billed for your administration fee.

Q. Is the vaccine safe?

A: Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines must go through a rigorous and multi-step testing and approval process before they can be used. Developers of a vaccine must provide a large amount of data on its safety and effectiveness to meet the rigorous standards set by the FDA. There are also ongoing safety monitoring systems in place by the CDC and FDA to allow for continued monitoring of the vaccine.

Q. What are the side effects?

A: Side effects that have been reported for the COVID-19 vaccines are like those of other vaccines including joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, fever greater than 100.4, chills and headache. But remember, side effects appear to be a good indication of a healthy immune response to fight the virus. Learn more about potential side effects.

Q. Are there any health-related issues that may impact my ability to get a vaccine?

A: Vaccination is recommended in most cases. However, there are a few reasons you'll want to talk to your doctor first. Discuss vaccination recommendations with your healthcare provider if you:

Q. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve received another vaccine (such as the flu vaccine) recently?

A: Yes. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. Learn more about the timing of other vaccines.

Q. Can I get COVID-19 or spread it to others from the vaccine?

A: It’s not possible to get COVID-19 or to spread COVID-19 to someone else from the vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which use only a gene from the virus to generate an immune response. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which uses a different, harmless virus to generate an immune response. The Novavax vaccine is protein-based, much like the flu shot, which uses lab-made protein fragments from specific parts of the virus (not the whole virus or other viruses) that the immune system needs to recognize in order to develop an immune response. None of these can cause COVID-19.

Q. Who should not get the vaccine? What if I have severe allergies?

A: For guidance on allergic reactions and who should not get the vaccine, please visit the Maricopa County Department of Public Health site, under Vaccine Safety.

Q. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had the virus and recovered?

A: Yes. Vaccination is recommended even if you've had a previous COVID-19 infection. For more information on this topic, visit this CDC information page.

Q. Will the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests?

A: No. These vaccines will not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. For more information on this topic, visit this CDC information page.

Q: Will this vaccine alter my DNA?

A: No. The vaccines will not alter your DNA. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines, but do not change a person’s DNA. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of your cells, where your DNA is kept. This means the vaccine does not interact with your DNA in any way. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a viral vector vaccine, uses genetic material that also does not integrate into your DNA.

Q: Are the vaccines effective against the many COVID-19 variants in circulation?

A: Viruses mutate all the time, but they can't mutate as easily if they are not spreading and replicating. By receiving your vaccine, you’ll not only protect yourself and those around you from getting a severe COVID-19 infection, but you may also help prevent the further emergence of variants. Although the vaccines we have today potentially could be less effective against new variants in terms of preventing all symptoms, they remain highly effective (compared to no vaccination) against preventing severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Q: If I received my vaccination at HonorHealth but lost my vaccination card, how can I access my proof of vaccination?

A: If you received your COVID-19 vaccination at an HonorHealth facility or at our drive-thru POD vaccination clinic, use MyChart to access proof of your vaccination.

  • Use your After Visit Summary: Log into MyChart and click Menu at the top left of your screen. You can either type “Immunization” in the Search the Menu field at the top of the dropdown, or you can click on Health Summary under the My Record section further down. Within the Health Summary section, click on the Immunizations tab. Each immunization given by an HonorHealth facility will display, along with the date you received your vaccines. To view the lot number or more details of your vaccination, use the View After Visit Summary button in the Visits tab.
  • Use the COVID-19 section: Log into MyChart and click Menu at the top left of your screen. You can either type “COVID” in the Search the Menu field at the top of the dropdown, or you can click on COVID-19 under the My Record section further down. Expand the Vaccines received section for more details, including the lot number and manufacturer. You can also use the Download/Export button to download a PDF of your vaccination record.
  • Access or download QR codes: Generate barcodes that can be scanned right from your mobile device, download a PDF document that includes your vaccination barcodes, or export your vaccine information. Learn more in our MyChart QR code tip sheet.