Learn More About Vaccine Requirements for K-12 Employees

Last updated: September 30, 2021 - 1:41pm

All individuals over age 12 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccines protect you by:

  • Reducing your chance of getting COVID-19
  • Reducing your chance of getting seriously ill
  • Reducing your chance of hospitalization or death from COVID-19
  • Making it harder for the disease to spread to others

Vaccination offers excellent protection against severe COVID-19, but it is not 100% effective. Some people, especially those Individuals with weaker immune systems, may not respond to vaccinations fully and may still become infected with COVID-19. There is also increasing evidence that fully vaccinated individuals infected with the Delta variant could still spread the disease unknowingly.

Full vaccination is recommended for everyone even if you’ve already had COVID-19. This recommendation is because research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again, and vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

If more people vaccinate, we build a more effective barrier against the virus that helps protect our most vulnerable and ourselves. Masking and physical distancing are still very important and offer another layer of protection against Delta and other variants. For those postponing vaccination, or choosing not to vaccinate, we ask that you consult with your healthcare provider to weigh your options.

Vaccine Brand NameWho Can Get this VaccineHow Many Shots You Will NeedWhen Are you Fully Vaccinated?
Pfizer-BioNTechPeople 12 years and older2 shots
Given 3 weeks (21 days) apart
2 weeks after your second shot
ModernaPeople 18 years and older2 shots
Given 4 weeks (28 days) apart
2 weeks after your second shot
Johnson & Johnson's JanssenPeople 18 years and older1 shot2 weeks after your shot

Vaccines teach the immune system the key features of the virus. The COVID-19 vaccine gives your body a plan to recognize the virus so it’s ready to fight it off.

When you get the vaccine, your immune system makes antibodies or “fighter cells” that stay in your blood and protect you in case you are infected with the virus. You get protection against the disease without having to get sick.

When enough people’s bodies in the community know how to fight off the virus, it has nowhere to go. This means we can stop the spread quicker and get a little closer to ending this pandemic.

Like other routine vaccines, the most common side effects are a sore arm, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.

These symptoms are a sign that the vaccine is working. In the Pfizer and Moderna trials, these side effects occurred most often within two days of getting the vaccine and lasted about a day. Side effects were more common after the second dose than the first dose. In the Johnson & Johnson clinical trials, side effects lasted an average of one to two days.

For all three vaccines, people over 55 were less likely to report side effects than younger people.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Scientists tested the vaccines on tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to get emergency use authorization, and they were all found to be very good at preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19.

Since then, these vaccines have been given safely to millions of people.

On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older.

The Pfizer vaccine is still available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for those 12-15 years old, and for the administration of a third dose for certain immunocompromised individuals.

As of August 13, 2021, the CDC recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after the completion of the initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series.

Immunocompromised individuals like those receiving active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, or chemotherapeutic agents don’t always build adequate levels of protection after an initial two-dose vaccination, and they may benefit from receiving an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine to develop as much protection as possible against COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare provider to understand your needs and recommendations specific to your condition.