County Services           How Do I?     

COVID-19 Vaccine & Vaccination FAQ

About the vaccines

Information about the new COVID-19 vaccines

Updated COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA on September 11, 2023 and recommended by the CDC on September 12, 2023. The CDC recommends the updated vaccine for everyone ages 6-months and older who are two-months past their last vaccine. Information about the new vaccine will be updated here as detailed guidance becomes available from the NYS Department of Health.

 CDC recommends the 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Everyone aged 5 years and older should get 1 dose of the updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Children aged 6 months–4 years need multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be up to date, including at least 1 dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People ages 65 years and older should receive 1 additional dose of any updated (2023–2024 Formula) COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer-BioNTech) at least 4 months following their previous dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine.

Where to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations will be updated as needed. Visit the CDC, Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines, for much more information. 

This section reviewed 3/7/2024.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same rigorous review that all vaccines must follow in the U.S. In New York, the State’s independent COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force also approved these COVID-19 vaccines as safe and effective. While the vaccine is in use, the FDA and the CDC are constantly monitoring for new side effects.

Do the vaccines work?

Yes. All of the vaccines currently available in the US protect people against severe disease, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, based both on clinical trials and real-world experience and observation. No vaccines are 100% effective, so some fully vaccinated individuals will still get sick. However, data collected on these "breakthrough cases" suggest that symptoms are milder for these individuals. The vaccines can also reduce the spread of COVID-19, protecting others.

Could a vaccine infect me with COVID-19?

No. None of the vaccines authorized or under review for use in the U.S. are made with the live virus that causes a COVID-19 infection or would make you sick.

[Top of Page]

Where to get vaccinated
(Local Sites)

Whole Health Pop-Up Clinics

No clinics are currently scheduled


Appointment availability, vaccine brand, dose, and eligibility vary by pharmacy and are subject to change without notice. As such, it is important to check the pharmacy website before you go or make plans. Call your pharmacy to ask if they accept walk-ins, or just ask when you are shopping there.

Individuals under age 18 must have a signed consent form and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

This section reviewed 2/29/2024.  

Kinney Drugs
  • Click here for Kinney's main COVID page
  • Ages 5-17 require a completed consent form.
  • Phone numbers: Cayuga St., Ithaca, (607) 272-8333; Triphammer Rd., Lansing, (607) 330-5692; North St., Dryden, (607) 844-8273

Tops Friendly Market

CVS & Target

Rite Aid


  • Immunizations page. Account sign-in may be required to schedule an appointment.
  • Phone for Ithaca store: 135 Fairgrounds Memorial Pkwy., (607) 277-8126

Wegmans Pharmacy

For all questions about clinics at any of the pharmacies listed above, please contact the pharmacy through their website. TCHD will not have information about vaccination clinics at pharmacies.

[Top of Page]

New York State Operated Vaccination Sites

All NYS vaccination sites are permanently closed as of 6/30/2022. NYS links to

Doctors, Pediatricians, Health Care Practitioners

  • Pediatric offices: Pfizer pediatric vaccine is available for any individual ages 6mos+. Please call the individual practice for details.
  • REACH Medical, 607-273-7000
  • Many family practices and health care practitioners have COVID-19 vaccine available. Please call your regular provider for information.

Get local updates from the Tompkins County Health Department regarding COVID-19 and vaccine distribution in our community

If you have questions about eligibility or about registration, please call 2-1-1 (877-211-8667)

Flu Vaccine

Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu shot to be immunized against influenza now. Visit your local pharmacy or your health care practitioner today. More info is here.

[Top of Page]

About Getting vaccinated

When can I be vaccinated?

Now. Everyone age 6 months and over is eligible to be vaccinated.

When is someone "fully vaccinated?"

According to the CDC, you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines only when you have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters and updates that are recommended for you and you are eligible to receive. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations schedules here.

Will getting vaccinated prevent me from getting sick with COVID-19?

No. There is still a chance of getting the disease. However, you risk of severe disease, hospitalization, or death is much lower when you are up to date with your vaccinations.

Will the vaccine cause a positive test on future COVID-19 viral tests?

No. Authorized vaccines will not cause a positive on any of the tests used to detect a current infection.

Can I infect others even after I’m vaccinated?

Yes. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 you should take precautions around others until you are certain that you're not infected (about 5 days after exposure). If you are sick with COVID-19 you should isolate from others even if you are up-to-date with your vaccination.

Should I get the vaccine if I already had a coronavirus infection?

Yes. The science shows that the vaccine provides better and longer-lasting protection than the defenses your body builds up when you were infected.

Can I get a flu shot at the same time I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. There is no required interval of time between receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine, such as the flu shot (you may want to consider getting one in each arm rather than both in the same arm). The Health Department recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. Most local pharmacies provide flu vaccines, or contact your primary care provider. Find more info about seasonal influenza here.

[Top of Page]

References and resources:

New York State Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

[Top of Page]