FAQ

Getting Vaccinated

Finding an Appointment

How do I get an appointment?

There are many places to schedule an appointment, including Oakland County, the State of Michigan, local pharmacies, hospitals, community clinics, and more. You can visit the Get Vaccinated page to find providers with appointments near you.

How do I get a booster dose?

For more information about eligibility for scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

For a schedule of Oakland County Health Division Community Clinics, click here.

Will I be informed of which vaccine I will receive?

Yes. Wherever you receive your vaccine they will inform you what type it is, provide you information, and schedule your second dose at the appropriate time.

How do I know which COVID-19 booster vaccine to get?

Some people may prefer a different vaccine type for their booster; mixing and matching is allowed for those 18 years and over. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you have questions about which vaccine booster to receive.

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all residents for free.

How do I cancel or reschedule my vaccine appointment with Oakland County Health Division?

Please call the Oakland County Health Division Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533.  Indicate if you are canceling/rescheduling your first or second dose appointment.  Nurse on Call is available Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Special Accommodations

How is Oakland County accommodating seniors who cannot stand in line?

At each vaccine clinic site there are staff available to assist those who need special accommodations.

After your Appointment

Will I have a positive COVID-19 test after getting the vaccine?

No. Vaccines currently being used in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current 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. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Do I still need to wear a mask even after I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, take these steps to protect yourself and others:

How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?

We don’t know yet how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. Recent studies show that protection against the virus may decrease over time. This reduction in protection has led CDC to recommend that everyone ages 18 years and older get a booster shot after completing their primary vaccination series.

People who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for their primary series should get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing the primary series. People who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster shot at least 2 months after getting their first shot.

At this time, CDC recommends getting only one COVID-19 booster shot. CDC continues to review evidence and will update guidance as more information is available.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

How do I obtain a new COVID-19 vaccination card if I misplace mine?

If you are an Oakland County resident who has lost your vaccination card, the Oakland County Health Division is able to provide you with your Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) record, which will have documentation of your COVID-19 vaccine(s).  Requests should be made in person at either the North Oakland Health Center (1200 N Telegraph, Building 34 East, Pontiac, MI 48341) or the South Oakland Health Center (27725 Greenfield Rd, Southfield, MI 48076).  Appointments are not needed, but please bring a photo I.D.

As of August 19, 2021, anyone 18 years or older, who has immunization records in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) will be able to locate their immunization record in MCIR themselves if a record exists and matches their government issued ID (ex: MI Secretary of State Driver’s License or ID card, or USA Passport). The portal can be found online at www.michigan.gov/immunize or at Michigan.gov/MiImmsPortal.

How can I get a copy of my immunization record?

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has launched the Michigan Immunization Portal. Michigan adults (18+) with immunization records, including COVID-19 vaccination, can locate their own record online and download, save or print this information. There is no cost to access the portal.

Parents may contact their child’s physician’s office or local health department to get a copy of their child’s immunization records.

When will I be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving the final dose in your primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.  For most people, this means 2 weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 weeks after their single dose of J&J’s Janssen vaccine.

People who are immunocompromised may need an additional dose as part of their primary vaccine series.

Click here for more information about being fully vaccinated and being up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.

Vaccine Safety

General Safety

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps were taken to make sure they are safe and effective:

  • Approach to Development – Scientists have been working for many years to develop vaccines against viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. This knowledge helped speed up the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Clinical Trials – All vaccines in the United States must go through three phases of clinical trials to make sure they are safe and effective. During the development of COVID-19 vaccines, phases overlapped to speed up the process, but all phases were completed.
  • Authorization or Approval – Before vaccines are available to people, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assesses the findings from clinical trials. FDA determined that three COVID-19 vaccines met FDA’s safety and effectiveness standards and granted those vaccines Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs). This allowed the vaccines to be quickly distributed to control the pandemic. Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA has given full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) in people ages 16 years and older and for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (Spikevax) in people ages 18 years and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been given Emergency Use Authorization for use in children ages 5 years through 15 years old.
  • Manufacturing and Distribution – The U.S. government has invested substantial resources to manufacture and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. This allowed vaccine distribution to begin as soon as FDA authorized each vaccine.
  • Tracking Safety Using Vaccine Monitoring Systems – COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring has been the most intense and comprehensive in U.S. history. Hundreds of millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines. Through several monitoring systems, CDC and FDA continue to provide updated information on the safety of these vaccines.

Learn more about developing COVID-19 vaccines.

On December 16th, the CDC updated recommendations for individuals to receive a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine if available over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. This recommendation is based on the latest evidence on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety and rare adverse events, and consideration of the U.S. vaccine supply.

Given the current state of the pandemic both here and around the world, receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.

Can the vaccine give me a COVID-19 infection?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being used in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. The goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. This means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Will the mRNA vaccine alter my DNA?

No. mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease.

Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine FDA approved?

On August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine is available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals 5 through 15 years of age and for a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

What are the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines?

Vaccine ingredients vary by manufacturer. None of the vaccines contain eggs, gelatin, latex, or preservatives. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys. They are also free from manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, or nanowire semiconductors.

To learn more about the ingredients in authorized COVID-19 vaccines, see

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine safe for me?

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

If you are hoping to become pregnant, or are currently pregnant, both the CDC and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) strongly recommends that all eligible persons receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series.

You CAN also continue breastfeeding after being vaccinated.

If I have a pre-existing condition, is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

People with pre-existing conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions.

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine even if I have already been infected with COVID-19?

You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19.

Getting sick with COVID-19 offers some protection from future illness with COVID-19, sometimes called “natural immunity.” The level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age. No currently available test can reliably determine if a person is protected from infection.

All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 even in people who have already been sick with COVID-19.

Emerging evidence shows that getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection to your immune system. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.

People who were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma or people who have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C) may need to wait a while after recovering before they can get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccine could cause infertility in women. In addition, infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine, are not a cause of infertility.

About the Pediatric (age 5-11) COVID-19 Vaccine

Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Vaccinating children ages 5 years and older can help protect them from getting COVID-19, spreading the virus to others, and getting sick if they do get infected. While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children than adults, it can make children very sick, require hospitalization, and some children have even died. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions.

Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who may be at risk of getting very sick if infected. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one available to children ages 5 years and older.

COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Scientists have conducted clinical trials with thousands of children, and the results show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, and there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems.

Your child may have some side effects, which are similar to those seen with other routine vaccines and are a normal sign that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects and severe allergic reactions are very rare.

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How effective is this vaccine?

The vaccine was over 90% effective at protecting younger children from severe illness from COVID-19. The levels of antibody produced by children in this age group were also comparable to the immune response seen in kids 12 and over and adults.

What’s the difference between the dose authorized for this age group, and what teens and adults are already getting?

Kids ages 5-11 will receive about a third of the dose offered to those 12 and older – 10 micrograms compared to the 30 micrograms adults and teens receive.

If my elementary-aged child recently had COVID-19, how long should I wait to get them vaccinated?

Children may get vaccinated as soon as they feel better, no longer have symptoms, and are done with any required quarantine.

If a child gets vaccinated, will they shed virus particles that could affect classmates or young siblings?

No, this isn’t possible because there are no live viruses used in the COVID-19 vaccine. While versions of weakened, non-harmful viruses have been used in some other vaccines, such as the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, that is not the case for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines used by both Pfizer and Moderna.

Should parents be worried about long term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine in kids?

Not only are severe side effects from vaccines extremely rare, but biologically there is no reason to see any emerge more than eight weeks after someone receives a vaccine. Vaccine ingredients are cleared from the body very quickly; mRNA is very fragile and degrades within 72 hours of injection. Ingredients do not linger in the body.

There have been no serious side effects detected during COVID-19 vaccine trials in more than 3,000 children ages 5-11. Side effects appear within days or weeks, and the most common side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children.


The COVID-19 vaccines are currently the most-highly monitored vaccines in history.

How long should I wait after my child receives the COVID-19 vaccine to receive other vaccines?

Your child can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines.

Additional Information

How is Oakland County working to achieve vaccine equity?

The Health Division will continue to prioritize vaccination of individuals who live and work in Oakland County based on highest risk including older adults, disability/medical conditions, essential/frontline workers and communities who many have more difficulty accessing vaccine.

Is it safe to travel if I’m not vaccinated yet?

The CDC recommends that you delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.

Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place.

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. After your trip, self-quarantine for a full 5 days and get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required for everyone in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).

Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19.

Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).