We know you have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the three approved COVID-19 vaccines do help prevent COVID-19. And, if you get COVID-19, they’ll help keep you from getting seriously ill.

Before you receive the vaccine:

  • Doctors agree: You should take the first vaccine available to you, as soon as you are eligible. 

  • Know that these vaccines are safe and effective. They have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years. There’s a system in place for the CDC to watch for safety issues and make sure the vaccines stay safe.

  • Learn about any side effects that could occur after you get the vaccine. If you do have any side effects, they’ll only last a few days. Having any side effects doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. It means that your body is being trained to fight COVID-19.

After you receive the vaccine:

You’re considered fully protected against the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

  • Two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

  • Two weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Don’t forget to let your provider know you’ve received your vaccine! This information will be added to your health record.

After you're fully vaccinated:

The CDC has issued new information about the kinds of activities you can do after you are fully vaccinated.

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask, even if they are from another household

  • You can gather indoors with other unvaccinated people from one other household without masks, as long as they are not at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

  • If you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.

As more people get the vaccine, we will be able to visit more friends and family safely and return to normal. The new CDC guidelines provide additional information about what you can do safely when you are fully vaccinated.

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You have multiple options about where to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Military Health System (MHS) are following vaccination recommendations from the CDC. The DoD is delivering the vaccine in phases to all eligible beneficiaries. Check with your local military hospital or clinic, pharmacy, or local/state vaccine sites to find out when and how they will make the vaccine available to you. Different vaccine sites may be at different phases and availability so it's important to check each location.

  • Continental U.S. or overseas military hospital or clinic

    • DoD is currently delivering vaccine to more than 340 sites around the globe in an effort to vaccinate all eligible DoD beneficiaries. Each location may be at a different phase. To find out when you can get the vaccine, contact your local military hospital or clinic.

    • If your local military hospital or clinic can’t schedule a vaccine appointment for you now, leave your name and contact information, and request to be contacted when the vaccine is available for you. Continue to follow your military hospital's or clinic's website, news media, or social media to stay informed about vaccine availability and updates

  • Retail pharmacies in the United States

    • As part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, you can get the vaccine at any retail pharmacy at no cost, even if it’s non-network. You can see which pharmacies in your state will have the vaccine on the CDC website. Contact your local pharmacy to see if and when the vaccine will be available

  • State or local vaccine distribution sites

    • Check with your state or local health department to find out when and how they will make the vaccine available to you

For all vaccination sites, please check availability and appointment times before showing up.

The vaccine itself is offered at no cost, but based on your plan and status (active duty or retiree), there may be a cost for an office visit to a TRICARE-authorized or network provider or if you require follow-on care.

Additional Resources for You

For more information, check out these resources:


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