COVID-19 Vaccines

Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Everyone ages 6 months and older is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccine can protect you, your family and your community.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have My Sanford Chart, log in to your account, select Visits in the header and then click the Schedule an appointment button. You will see an option to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.

If you're scheduling for a minor, you must have proxy access to their account. Learn more.

If you don't have a My Sanford Chart account, learn about your online scheduling options.

Find a Walk-in Location

COVID-19 vaccines are offered without an appointment at select locations. We strongly encourage you to schedule your vaccination through My Sanford Chart or by calling your local clinic.

Most Sanford Health locations carry the Pfizer vaccine. Call your local clinic to check if the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is available and to schedule an appointment.

Guidelines  for Children Ages 6 Months through 4 Years

Children ages 6 months to 4 years need multiple doses to be up to date, including at least one dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine.

Children who are not vaccinated will get a three-dose vaccine series:

  • Children get a second dose three to eight weeks after their first dose.
  • Children get a third dose at least eight weeks after their second dose.

Children who got COVID-19 vaccines before Sept. 12, 2023, should get one or two doses of an updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine depending on the number of doses they’ve previously received.

If they have received one previous dose:

  • Children get a second dose three to eight weeks after their first dose.
  • Children get a third dose at least eight weeks after their second dose.

If they have received two or more previous doses:

  • Children get one dose at least eight weeks after the last dose.

Guidelines for Everyone Ages 5 and Older


  • Everyone ages 5 and older should get one dose of an updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people who are not vaccinated or got previous COVID-19 vaccine(s) before Sept. 12, 2023.
  • Everyone ages 65 and older should get an additional updated dose for a total of two doses of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.

Wait at least eight weeks to get a dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine after receiving a previous dose.

Guidelines for Patients Who Are Immunocompromised

Immunocompromised refers to people who have a weakened immune system. Everyone ages 6 months and older who is moderately or severely immunocompromised needs at least one dose of a 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccine, this includes people who were vaccinated before Sept. 12, 2023. Depending on the number of doses you’ve previously received, you may need more than one dose of the updated vaccine.

Everyone ages 6 months and older:

  • If you have not received any COVID-19 vaccines (not vaccinated), you should get three doses of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have had one dose, you should get two doses of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have had two or more doses, you should get one dose of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.

Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Why get vaccinated?

Vaccines help keep you healthy by reducing your chance of being infected by a serious or deadly virus. They use your body’s natural defense system (immune system) to help you safely develop immunity against a disease. Plus, vaccines protect you, as well as others in your family and community, by stopping the spread of diseases.

Do I have to pay for my COVID-19 vaccination?

Most people can get a COVID-19 vaccine for free through health insurance coverage. If you don’t have health insurance or your vaccines are not covered, you can get a free COVID-19 vaccine at a local health center or through locations that participate in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Children may also get a free COVID-19 vaccine through the Vaccines for Children program.

I just received a different vaccine. Do I have to wait to get my COVID-19 vaccine?

You don’t have to wait or space out your vaccinations. We can now give COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines on the same day.

I’ve recovered from COVID-19. Do I need to get the vaccine?

You should get vaccinated even if you’ve already had COVID-19. You will not be required to have an antibody test before you are vaccinated.

Anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and they meet the criteria to stop isolating. Find the criteria here.

COVID-19 Vaccination Card and Records

How can I update my medical records to include my COVID-19 vaccination?

Please call your primary care provider and ask about adding your COVID-19 vaccination to your medical records.

How do I notify my provider that I’ve been vaccinated?

If you’re a Sanford Health patient, your vaccination information will be automatically updated in your record.

If you received your COVID-19 vaccine at a non-Sanford Health location, please send a My Sanford Chart message to your provider and attach a picture of your vaccination card.

This will ensure your medical record is updated with your vaccination status, date of vaccination and the type of vaccine you received.

If you don’t have your vaccination card available, please send a My Sanford Chart message or email us and include the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • The date(s) of your vaccination
  • Type of vaccine you received
  • The state and location where you received your vaccine
  • Please indicate if you received your vaccination at Indian Health Services or Veterans Affairs (VA)

How do I access my vaccination records?

If you received your vaccination at Sanford Health, you have these options:

Option 1: Print your vaccination record from My Sanford Chart.

  1. Log in.
  2. In the menu, select Health Summary under My Record.
  3. Select the Immunizations tab and click View Details under your COVID-19 vaccine listing.
  4. This will display all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine you have on file. Click the printer icon in the upper right corner to print a paper copy or select Print to PDF for an electronic copy.

Option 2: Print your record from your state’s health department.

Option 3: Contact Sanford Health Release of Information

Option 4: Call your primary care provider and ask them to provide your vaccination record.

If you received your vaccination at a non-Sanford Health location, you can contact the location or print your record from your state health department website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

Research shows that the COVID-19 vaccines effectively protect you from COVID-19, including its variants. The vaccine can help prevent severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Safety is our top priority. COVID-19 vaccines continue to be very safe and effective in preventing illness, hospitalization and death.

Before any vaccine receives approval for widespread use, it must be supported by research. All vaccines approved for use have undergone rigorous testing as directed by the FDA to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Can I get COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine?

Getting the vaccine helps protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19, but no vaccine is 100%.

For the best protection, get all of the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. There have been breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated people contracting COVID-19, but these cases are a small percentage of the overall vaccinated population.

Even if you get sick after being vaccinated, your symptoms should be less severe than those experienced by people who are unvaccinated. The vaccine is also effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.

It’s also possible to get sick with COVID-19 just before or after vaccination. It typically takes around two weeks to get full protection after getting vaccinated. 

Are the vaccines safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the CDC all recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant or who might become pregnant in the future.

Evidence from the CDC has shown that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. Maternal vaccination has also been shown to be safe and effective at protecting infants younger than 6 months old from severe COVID-19 and hospitalization.

  • Pregnant women are at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications that can affect their pregnancy and their developing baby.
  • A COVID-19 vaccine will help prevent or decrease the harm of contracting COVID-19. These vaccines cannot give you the illness.
  • Pregnant women should stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and get an updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.

Women who are pregnant experience the same vaccine side effects as others, including fever. According to the CDC, Tylenol can be used during pregnancy for a high fever.

If you’re currently breastfeeding, experts say there’s no reason to think that the vaccines affect the safety of your breast milk. There is also evidence that antibodies from the vaccines pass from your breast milk to your baby. This may help protect your baby from infection.

Are the vaccines safe for children?

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine went through rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness. Research shows the vaccine can help prevent severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19.

The vaccine doses are adjusted to be age-appropriate.

The side effects are minimal and similar to the side effects a child may experience from other vaccinations.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

For some, the COVID-19 vaccine may cause mild side effects. This isn’t a bad thing. Side effects show the vaccine is working and your body is building an immune response. The most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are injection site pain, soreness and swelling. These side effects will typically resolve after one or two days.