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How and Where to Get COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters in Arizona

Tucson Medical Center Administers Covid-19 Vaccinations To Group 1B
Older Arizonans and people in the state's top vaccine priority groups
wait to be immunized outside of a vaccine clinic in Tucson.
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

En español | Who is eligible to get vaccinated?

  • Everyone age 5 and up


Who’s eligible for booster shots?

All adults 18 and older should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their initial two-shot series, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People 18 and up who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should also get a booster dose at least two months after their first shot, the CDC says. 

Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna, distinct from boosters, are available for specific immunocompromised people, including organ transplant recipients and certain cancer patients. These recipients may also get a booster — a fourth dose — at least six months after the third shot, according to CDC guidance


Can I mix and match boosters?

It’s safe and effective to choose which vaccine you receive as a booster – whether it’s the one you got initially or another vaccine, according to CDC recommendations.

Which vaccine is authorized for kids?

Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for children age 5 and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 and older. Pfizer’s vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is one-third the dose given to people age 12 and up, and is given in two doses, three weeks apart, according to CDC recommendations. Shots for kids are available at doctors’ offices and certain retail pharmacies. Call your doctor or check pharmacy websites. Both Pfizer and Moderna are researching how their vaccines work in children as young as 6 months. 

Where can I get a vaccine or booster?

  • Retail pharmacies, including Walgreens, Fry’s Pharmacy, CVS, Costco, Walmart, Safeway and Albertsons, are offering vaccines and boosters. Many sites let you book appointments for the specific brand of vaccine or booster you prefer, based on availability. Search their online COVID-19 vaccine pages for locations and appointments (some are accepting walk-ins). Note that some pages require you to answer questions about your vaccination status before presenting the option for a booster. 
  • The federal government’s vaccines websiteVaccines.gov, lets you search for vaccines and boosters by zip code. Get the same information by texting your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489).
  • Local and state vaccination sites, including hospitals, county health departments, medical centers, urgent care clinics, pharmacies, mobile clinics and vaccination events, are offering vaccines and boosters, with some sites accepting walk-ins. Visit the state’s online Vaccine Finder map to locate providers. Some providers may direct you to the state’s centralized Vaccine Management System (VMS) to schedule an appointment.
  • County health departments may have more information on local providers, vaccination events and registration requirements in your area. Visit the state's list of county vaccine resources.
  • Through your employer or living facility. Some Arizonians who work or live in healthcare settings, such hospitals or nursing homes, may be able to get vaccinated through their workplaces or residences. Check before scheduling an appointment.
  • The state’s toll-free COVID-19 helpline, at 844-542-8201, can assist those without computer access or those who need extra help registering for an appointment.


What should I bring to my vaccination or booster appointment?

Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, along with your health insurance card, if you have one. You won’t be charged for the initial vaccine series, or a booster shot, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine. After your first shot, bring your vaccine card for subsequent shots.

How are vaccinations working in nursing homes and long-term care facilities?

Most residents and staff of Arizona’s long-term care facilities were offered first and second doses through a federal program that provided free on-site vaccinations in late 2020 and early 2021. The program has ended, but the federal government continues to allocate COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to pharmacies that are partnered with long-term care facilities to provide vaccinations, mainly on-site.  

Facilities that don’t have a pharmacy partner are encouraged to work with local or state health departments — or the federal government, if need be — to provide vaccinations. 
 
Most nursing home staff are required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 as per a federal mandate or staff in health care facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid dollars. Most assisted living, memory-care and other long-term care facilities are not subject to this mandate, as they are regulated by the states, some of which have their own mandates for workers. 

Which vaccines require two initial shots

Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine requires just one shot, with a recommended booster two months later. A Food and Drug Administration warning says the vaccine has been connected with rare, severe blood clots in a small number of recipients, especially in women age 50 years and younger, and an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.

Do I have to pay for the vaccination?

You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine or a booster shot. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself.

Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.

What should I do with my vaccine card? 

You should get a small white card at your vaccination appointment with your name, birth date, name of the vaccine you received and the date it was administered. If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, bring your card when you get your second shot.  

You may need your vaccine card to schedule a third vaccine dose, for certain immunocompromised people, or a booster shot.  You may also need it for certain kinds of travel or other activities and may want to take a photo of it with your smartphone for your own records. But experts warn that posting a photo of your card to social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft.

If you’ve lost your vaccine card, call the site where you were vaccinated to request a new one or a copy of your vaccination record. You can also contact your state health department to request a replacement card or a copy of your record.

How protected am I post-vaccination? I’ve heard about breakthrough infections. 

All three vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections and are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from the disease. But no vaccine is 100 percent effective and breakthrough infections, while relatively rare, have been reported.   

The CDC is tracking breakthrough infections and illness and death among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

Helpful Resources

  • County Vaccine Resources. County websites and call centers can provide extra information on vaccination providers, appointments, events and additional resources, such as transportation assistance to vaccination sites, in your area.
  • The Vaccine Management System’s Patient Portal Guide. The guide walks you through how to create an account and schedule an appointment. It also shows you how to cancel or reschedule an appointment, if required.
  • The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid administer, is reimbursing non-emergency medical transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Medicaid beneficiaries who have scheduled an appointment should contact their provider to schedule non-emergency transportation. 

This guide, originally published on Dec. 21, was updated on Nov. 30 with new recommendations for booster shots. 

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