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COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Immigrants

Why should I get the vaccine?

  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective.

    • Most fully vaccinated people are much less likely to get sick from COVID-19. The vaccines can reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19.

    • The vaccines are also effective against new COVID-19 variants. 

    • However, ongoing research shows a small number of fully vaccinated people will still get COVID-19.

      • If you get COVID-19 after vaccination, your symptoms might be less severe, and you are much less likely to be hospitalized and die.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

    • None of the COVID-19 vaccines can make you sick with COVID-19, neither will they give you any harmful long-term side effects. Hundreds of millions of Americans have been vaccinated as of mid-2021, saving millions of lives.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are the most important tool to end the pandemic and return to normal. ​

  • When you are fully vaccinated, all activities become safer. ​


Why Get the Vaccine

Vaccines are accessible to immigrants

  • COST: The vaccine is FREE, and you do not need health insurance.


  • ELIGIBILITY: All Americans (5+), including immigrants and undocumented immigrants can receive the vaccine.


  • DOCUMENTATION: You don’t need to provide a Social Security Number or proof of immigration status.

    • Your vaccination provider may ask for some form of documentation, like an ID (see more below)

  • IMPACT ON IMMIGRATION STATUS: ICE has said they will not come to vaccine sites. Your personal data will not be used for prosecution or immigration enforcement. Receiving the vaccine will not impact immigration status or future immigration applications.


Vaccine Safey

How to get a vaccine

All individuals 5 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. People who are 12 to 17 years old can only receive the Pfizer vaccine. 


To get your vaccine, you can either go to a walk-up vaccination site or make an appointment. For either option, visit the NYC Vaccine Finder website or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).

Documentation to bring to your vaccination

The only documentation you must bring to your appointment is proof of age. Proof you are 12 or older may include:

  • Driver's license or non-driver ID

  • IDNYC (good option for undocumented immigrants)

  • State or government-issued birth certificate

  • Current U.S. passport or valid foreign passport

  • Permanent resident card

  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship

  • Marriage certificate with birthdate

  • For people younger than 18, a parent or guardian can accompany them to the vaccination site to attest to their age


Remember, you will not need to provide proof of immigration status or a social security number, and your privacy and confidentiality will be protected.


How to Get the Vaccine
Post Vax Guidance

Post-Vaccine Guidance

Second dose:

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. You should schedule your second dose 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) after the first dose.

Side effects:

Be prepared for side effects such as arm soreness, headache, body aches, tiredness, and fever. Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal and should go away within a few days.

Post-vaccine abilities:

You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose (or two weeks after your first/only dose for J&J)

When you are fully vaccinated, all activities become safer. Continue to take COVID precautions. Visit for latest guidance.



FAQs and Common Misconceptions

Can the vaccines give me COVID-19? 

None of the COVID-19 vaccines  contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.


Can I still get COVID-19 after I get the vaccine?

While current vaccines are shown to be highly effective in preventing people from getting sick from the virus, you can still get COVID-19 and be sick even if you get the vaccine. The vaccines are very effective in reducing the severity of the COVID-19 illness.


How were the vaccines developed so quickly? Are COVID-19 vaccines safe? 

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Although COVID-19 is new, medical experts have been working on vaccines to the coronavirus family of viruses for years.


Before being authorized for use, all COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people. The CDC and the FDA continue to monitor the vaccines to make sure they are safe.

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?

Yes you should. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you and your baby from severe illness from COVID-19. There is no evidence that COVID-19 (or any) vaccination causes any problems with fertility or pregnancy. 

Should I get the vaccine if I have a chronic illness?

Yes. Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for most people with underlying medical conditions.

Can I get a third dose of the COVID vaccine?

Currently, third shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines can be given to those with compromised immune systems four weeks after their second dose. Booster shots of only Pfizer can be given to anyone age 65 and up, or above 18 with an underlying health condition or who is at greater risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their work or living situation. Learn more about the distinction between third shots and booster shots on our blog.



Vaccine FAQs

Further Resources

Vax Infographics

CIANA Vaccine Infographics

Keep up with CIANA

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