The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important tools we have available to end the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The City of Long Beach began receiving COVID-19 vaccines in late December 2020 and has started distributing and dispensing the vaccine based on priority.

It is important to continue to take steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 or giving it to others while we wait for a vaccine, and even after a vaccine is available.We will continue to receive vaccines until everyone in Long Beach who wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated.

 View updates on the City's vaccine strategy


 COVID-19 Vaccine Study Session to Council | February 2, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When can I get vaccinated?

    View VaxLB for information about current vaccine allocations and to register to be notified when it's your turn.

    Based on current guidelines recommended by the ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group, vaccines will be made available to individuals in two phases, with sub-phases and tiered sub-prioritization until more vaccines become available. 

    California is allocating and vaccination providers are administering the vaccine as they become available. California will be transparent and careful to ensure equitable vaccine distribution.

    Initially vaccine supply is limited. At first, vaccines will be provided to healthcare workers and long-term care residents in accordance with the CDPH Allocation Guidelines.

  • Is the vaccine safe?

    Many COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and several are being tested in large-scale clinical trials in the United States.

    The safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority. The COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized by the FDA have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.

  • What should I expect after receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine?

    After getting the first or second dose of the vaccine, you may have some side effects. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection. 

    Common side effects include:

    • Pain or swelling on the arm where you got the shot
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Tiredness
    • Headache

    These side effects may affect your day-to-day activities, but they should go away in a few days.

    If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol). You may also:

    • To reduce pain
      • Apply a clean, cool wet washcloth over the area where you got the shot
      • Use or exercise your arm
    • To reduce discomfort from fever
      • Drink plenty of fluids
      • Dress lightly

    Call the doctor or healthcare provider if:

    • The redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
    • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
  • Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?

    The FDA has approved the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

    mRNA-1273 by Moderna

    Learn more about mRNA-1273.


    BNT162 by Pfizer/Biontech

    Learn more about BNT162.  

    Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine

    Learn more about Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Can you get COVID-19 from a vaccine?

    No! These vaccines are not made with live virus or virus particles. There is no way to get or spread COVID-19 from the vaccine.

  • Will getting the vaccine cause me to test positive on a COVID-19 test?

    No. When you get the COVID-19 vaccine, your body’s immune system will develop antibodies. Antibodies are what help to protect you from the disease if you come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. However, the tests that we use for COVID-19 look for the COVID-19 virus itself – not antibodies. So, you will not test positive if you take a COVID-19 test.

    See the public health testing webpage to learn more about COVID-19 tests.

  • Will I Have to Pay for my COVID-19 Vaccine?

    Some health care providers may charge a fee for giving the shot to someone. Most public and private insurance companies will cover that fee so there is no out-of-pocket cost for the person getting vaccinated.

  • If I have already had COVID-19 and gotten better, do I still need to get the vaccine?

    Yes, it is recommended that people get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have had it before. We know that some people who have had COVID-19 can get it again. Since COVID-19 can cause people to become very sick, it is important that even those who had the virus before getting the vaccine.

  • Can I get vaccinated if I currently have COVID-19?

    No, you should not receive the vaccine if you currently have COVID-19. However, once you have completed your isolation and and you are completely covered, it is recommended that you get the vaccine if it is available to you.

  • Can the COVID-19 vaccine be given the same day as other vaccines, like the flu vaccine?

    No. The CDC recommends that a person does not get any other vaccines within 14 days of the COVID-19 vaccine to make sure the vaccine works as well as possible.

  • How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine are needed?

    • Two doses of the Moderna vaccine are needed 28 - 42 days apart. Receiving your second dose any time between the recommended time frame is safe and will ensure your vaccine is effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19.
    • Two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are needed 21 - 42 days apart. Receiving your second dose any time between the recommended time frame is safe and will ensure your vaccine is effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19.
    • Only one dose of the Janssen vaccine is needed.
  • Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?

    Currently, there are not enough vaccines for everyone but there will be later this year. The focus right now is to vaccinate those with the highest chance of getting COVID-19, and those at highest risk of getting very sick if they get it.

  • Are there other vaccines that can help prevent me from getting COVID-19?

    A flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it can prevent you from the flu at the same time as COVID-19. This can keep you from having more severe COVID symptoms. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever.

Learn more about vaccines