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The COVID-19 Vaccine

In our immigrant and refugee communities, we often have extended families and communities. Our community comes together like a beautiful quilt with different shapes and colors. We are family. And family takes care of family. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a way to take care of our family.

We know our communities have valid reasons to distrust the health care system as many of our communities have historically experienced discrimination within the health care system

But our communities have also been hardest hit by COVID-19 and many of us have experienced first hand the impact of COVID-19 and have lost loved ones. COVID-19 has never been seen before. Worldwide, as of this writing, 1,984,817 people have died of COVID-19.

Nearly 300,000 more Americans died from January-October last year, compared to past years. These excess deaths occurred in communities of color and were not linked to COVID-19, likely because those deaths include people who did not get tested or seek medical care. Unfortunately, home remedies alone are not enough to keep us safe.

The COVID-19 vaccine works by teaching your body which proteins to produce to fight against future infection. Get vaccinated. By getting vaccinated, you will be protecting yourself, your family, and our community. We can be together again in the future, once we are all vaccinated!

Where Can I get Vaccinated?

What You Need to Know

Who Can Get the Vaccine

Everyone who is 12 and older in Fresno County is eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 at no cost. 

  • If you have chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, you should get the vaccine. Many people who have died of COVID-19 had comorbidities, or co-occurring conditions, like diabetes, etc. People with co-occurring disorders are at risk of having complications from COVID-19. The vaccine will help prevent initial infection.

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are highly encouraged to receive the vaccine. The vaccine will not affect fertility or the ability to get pregnant.

  • If you are not currently sick, have not tested positive for COVID-19, or had any other vaccines in the last 14 days, you may get the vaccine. If you are not eligible, please consult with your doctor.  

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How to Prepare Yourself Before You Receive the Vaccine:


  • Some people experience muscle soreness and other side effects. Talk to your doctor about taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or another painkiller before you are scheduled to receive your vaccine to help minimize side effects.

Vaccine Details

  • Safety is a top priority. The available vaccines are safe and effective.

  • With both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you will need 2 shots in order to get the most protection. You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.

  • You will only need 1 shot of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

  • The vaccine helps keep you from getting COVID-19 infection. However, no one tool alone is going to stop the pandemic. Your best protection from COVID-19 will be a combination of getting the vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least 6-feet away from others, and washing your hands often.

How COVID Vaccines Work in Your Body

Possible Side Effects of the Vaccine

​Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are normal signs your body is building protection. Side effects may even feel like flu and might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Common side effects include:

  • Pain

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Tiredness

  • Headache

  • Muscle Pain

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Nausea

Severe allergic reactions are very rare. If severe reactions do happen, it's usually within minutes. Trained staff will observe you for 15 minutes after receiving your dose.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until about 2 weeks after your second shot. For COVID-19 vaccines that require 1 shot, it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for your body to build protection.

COVID-19 Vaccination & Immigration Status

  • The vaccine is available at no cost no matter your citizenship status. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine won’t lead to any public charge.

  • Information collected from you while getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not be used in any way for immigration enforcement. 

  • You may be asked for basic information like address and phone number. Community health workers, nurses, or staff involved in vaccination efforts won’t ask about your immigration status.

After Your Vaccine

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Download the Fresno County FAQ sheet for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I get the vaccine?

Statistics show immigrant and refugee communities are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. To protect ourselves, and our community, it is important to get vaccinated. COVID-19 can cause serious illness. The vaccine helps your body build up antibodies to protect you from the virus. Get vaccinated to prevent getting COVID-19 and to protect your loved ones. 

How was the vaccine developed so fast?

The vaccine was developed faster than other vaccines because of the number of scientists working on it worldwide, and the funds provided by the government and pharmaceutical companies. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. 

Will the vaccine make me sick?

The COVID-19 vaccine may have some side effects like pain and swelling on the arm you get the shot. Common side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection. 

Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot infect you with the COVID-19 virus. 

When can I get the vaccine?

Because of the limited supplies of the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. The distribution of the vaccine has been broken up into three phases and several tiers. Check Fresno's COVID-19 vaccine schedule to learn your tier. 

Where can I get the vaccine?

To receive a notification when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in your area, fill out the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form or contact your local health professional for more information.

How much does the vaccine cost?

The vaccine is free including the administration of the vaccine. The federal government is providing the vaccine at no cost to all people living in the United States. 

Find a

Vaccine Site

Find a vaccination site and schedule your appointment. 

Know If You're Eligible for a booster

Learn about whether you qualify for a COVID-19 booster or additional dose.


Vaccine Updates

Get informed about local vaccination & testing events by following us on social media.

Vaccinations Administered

Data Highlights as of 8/24/2021


In California


In Fresno County