Get Your COVID-19 Shot!

COVID-19 Vaccine Graphic

Wake County Public Health encourages everyone ages 12 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine – it’s free, safe and easier than ever. There are three vaccines available, free of charge: Pfizer-BioNTech (ages 12+) En españolModerna (ages 18+) En español, and Johnson & Johnson (ages 18+) En español  

Appointments will be REQUIRED starting Monday, Sept. 20

Wake County Public Health has five vaccination locations open six days a week, including weekends and evening hours. Check out the schedule below.

In anticipation of booster doses, Wake County Public Health is moving to appointments ONLY starting Monday, Sept. 20.
Make an appointment

This change will help those seeking first, second, and additional doses (once approved) to secure a convenient appointment slot. All of our locations will begin offering extended hours beginning September 20 and ALL will offer BOTH Moderna and Pfizer/Comirnaty. 


You can also call the NC COVID-19 hotline to make a vaccine appointment at 888-675-4567.

Walk-up will still be welcome at any of our pop-up events in the community each week. These location offer ALL vaccine brands, including Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) 
Check this flyer or the Featured Events below to see where we are this week!

There are more than 200 vaccine providers in Wake County in addition to Wake County Public Health. To find other locations near you, visit the NC Vaccine Finder

Need a ride? Call GoWake at 919-212-7005 for a ride share, including wheelchair assistance. Or call 1-844-771-RIDE for the United Way vaccine program.

Need an at-home vaccination? Call the NCDHHS At-Home Vaccination Hotline at 1-866-303-0026

Extended Hours Starting Monday, Sept. 20:

Wake County Human Services Center
5809 Departure Drive, Raleigh
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Wake County Public Health Center
10 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh

Wake County Northern Regional Center
350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
Monday & Friday
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Tuesday & Thursday
11:45–7:15 p.m.

9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Wake County Southern Regional Center
130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina

Wake County Eastern Regional Center
1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
Tuesday & Thursday
11:45–7:15 p.m.

Wednesday & Friday
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.


We understand you may have questions about the vaccine. That’s why we created the FAQ below to help provide you with answers. The vaccination process is constantly changing, and so may our responses over time. We encourage you to check this site regularly for the latest updates.

General Vaccine FAQ

Who can be vaccinated now?

Everyone 12 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina.

At this time, Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for those under 18 years old. Wake County Public Health is offering Pfizer in all of its clinic and community pop-up events. People 15 and under will need parental consent. 

Pick a convenient appointment at a Wake County Public Health location near you by clicking here. Or find other providers in Wake County at You can also call our Vaccine Hotline at 888-675-4567.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Wake County Public Health is one of many providers in Wake County receiving shipments of the vaccine. Find a vaccination location near you at NC Vaccine Finder.

All providers are working closely together to vaccinate the public against COVID-19 and help keep our community healthy and safe.

Anyone 12 and older can walk in or make an appointment with our online vaccine schedule and request form or by calling call the vaccine hotline at 888-675-4567.

Do I still need to wear a mask after I'm fully vaccinated? Can I gather with other vaccinated people?

A vaccine alone won’t stop the spread of COVID-19 right away. Still, it's a major tool in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 and needs to be used in combination with other prevention methods. 

The vaccines have been proven to effectively prevent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. However, it’s still possible that some vaccinated people could get infected. This means people who are vaccinated could be spreading the virus, especially if they come in close contact with others or stop wearing masks. 

It is important to remember that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated and are still at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. 

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should: 

  • Wear a mask when in public indoor spaces and when in large crowds. 
  • If you have been around or exposed to someone who has COVID-19, get tested 3-5 days after exposure. 
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. 

For up to date information from the NC Department of Health and Human Services on mask wearing visit Face Coverings and Masks | NC COVID-19 (  


Why are third doses of COVID-19 vaccine needed?

As of August 16, 2021, Wake County Public Health began administering an additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems who already received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna.

People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised make up about 3% of the adult population and are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.

Studies indicate some immunocompromised people don’t always build the same level of immunity even after getting both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna. Additional studies  show that fully vaccinated, immunocompromised people account for a percentage of hospitalized “breakthrough cases,” and that suggests these people are more likely to transmit the virus to others in their home.

Who can get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine?

Who can get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
You should talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition to determine whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for you. The CDC recommends third doses to:

  • Cancer patients undergoing active treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
  • Organ transplant recipients who are taking medicine to suppress their immune systems;
  • Stem cell transplant recipients who are less than two years out from their transplant and taking medicine to suppress their immune systems;
  • Anyone with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Anyone with advanced or an untreated HIV infection; and
  • Anyone receiving high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.

The CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, including those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The FDA and CDC continue to analyze data and will provide further guidance on this issue as needed.

How can I get a third dose?

You can walk into any of Wake County Public Health’s vaccine clinics or events. Appointments are not needed for third doses. Walk-ins should not expect to experience long wait times. A third dose needs to be given at least 28 days after a second dose and should be the same brand as the first and second dose.

Will I need to bring medical records or proof of my weakened immune system?

No. When you arrive at a clinic, our registration staff will find your vaccination record in the NC COVID Vaccine Management System, or CVMS, to ensure you received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna. You can also bring your vaccine card. Then, you’ll simply be asked to attest or declare that you are immunocompromised by signing a digital form.

What do I need to do after my third shot?

Please sign-up for V-Safe, a symptom checker that will send you occasional texts to ask you how you’re feeling and allow you to report any symptoms. It’s critically important, and it only takes two minutes to answer the questions. It’s the best way to help keep vaccines safe. Go to to sign up.

Even after receiving this additional dose, people who are immunocompromised should continue follow the 3Ws - wearing a mask, waiting six feet apart from others they do not live with and washing hands frequently. They should also avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.

What kind of side effects do the vaccines have? Will I need to take time off work?

Some people report temporary reactions after being vaccinated, such as swelling from the injection, tiredness or feeling bad for a day or two. These are normal symptoms and a sign of a proper immune response, similar to those experienced when receiving other routine vaccinations. These reactions typically last no longer than a day and a half. You cannot become infected with COVID-19 from receiving the vaccine. Please consult your primary care physician if you have any concerns about the way you’re feeling after vaccination. View more information here.

How many doses of the vaccine do I need for it to be effective?

Wake County Public Health is using all the COVID-19 vaccines available to the public. Your vaccine provider will tell you what vaccine you are receiving and will let you know when and how to schedule your follow-up appointment.

All vaccines have shown to be safe and effective in preventing death and serious illness due to COVID-19.

The goal of using all vaccines available is to increase vaccination rates so our community can stop the spread of COVID-19 and get back to life.

It is important that people do not mix vaccine brands for their first and second shots. Receiving the second shot of the same vaccine as your first shot is critical in achieving the vaccine's total protection.

Doses Needed for Full Coverage

Vaccine Brand

Doses Needed

Days Until 2nd Dose


2 doses

21 days


2 doses

28 days

Johnson & Johnson

1 dose

No 2nd dose required

Can I pick which vaccine brand I receive?

Yes, Wake County Public Health does show you the expected brand(s) of vaccine offered at each site when you're making an appointment.

All the approved vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in reducing death and serious hospitalization from COVID-19.

Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing Death and Serious Illness




95% effective


94.1% effective

Johnson & Johnson

81.7% effective

Most common side effects are injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and fever. Side effects are more common after the second dose, especially for younger adults.

It is important that people do not mix vaccine brands for their first and second shots. Receiving the second shot of the same vaccine as your first shot is critical in achieving the vaccine's total protection. Your vaccine provider will help you determine if you need a second dose and how/when to come back to get full protection.

The goal of using all vaccines available is to increase vaccination rates so our community can stop the spread of COVID-19 and get back to life.

I can't decide if I should get the vaccine – what's your advice?

The COVID-19 vaccines are shown to be safe and effective. While these vaccines were developed quickly, they were built upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses. To test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, more than 100,000 people participated in clinical trials. To date, those vaccines are nearly 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no serious safety concerns. Read more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

How much will a COVID-19 vaccination cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone for free, whether or not you have health insurance. The federal government is purchasing the vaccines. Just like Wake County Public Health continues offering no-cost COVID-19 testing, we will be working to make sure everyone has equal access to the vaccine, as well.

If I already had COVID-19, do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes, you should get vaccinated whether you've had COVID-19 or not.

Sometimes after being infected by a virus, your body builds up a “natural immunity” by making its own antibodies. But right now, there’s not enough information available to confidently say if being infected with COVID-19 creates any protection from getting it again. Early evidence suggests that natural immunity to COVID-19 may not last very long, so that's why it's recommended that everyone get a vaccine, even if you've tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered.

If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

It is safe to get vaccinated if you have been infected in the past. Additional information can be found here for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Is the vaccine safe for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant now?

The CDC recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 than non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe COVID-19 illness.

There is growing evidence about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. Scientists have found no safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or their babies. There is no increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The vaccines do not cause infertility or have other long-term effects.

Vaccine side effects primarily happen within six weeks of a dose. That's why the FDA studied people who receive the vaccine, including pregnant people, for at least two months after the last dose to watch for any side effects. Listen to this great response from a vaccine researcher at the Vaccine Education Center.

I don't like needles. Is there any other way to vaccinate me against COVID-19?

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is only available as a shot. Talk to a doctor, nurse or medical professional about your fear of needles. Many people report being afraid of needles, but they weigh the benefits of feeling that brief prick against getting sick if they contract COVID-19. When you get vaccinated, it not only protects you, it protects our community by breaking the chain of infection that COVID-19 relies on to spread.

Should my child get the vaccine?

Children 12 and up have been approved by the FDA and CDC to receive the Pfizer vaccine under an emergency authorization. Additional studies are underway for children under 12 years old.

Is there a new, more dangerous strain of COVID-19?

Mutations in viruses, including the coronavirus which is causing the COVID-19 pandemic, are neither new nor unexpected. There are several additional strains and there will likely be more as this pandemic progresses. The more people infected by COVID-19, the more chances there are for mutations to occur. That's why getting vaccinated and following the 3Ws continue to be our best defense against exposure, infection, and the evolution of new strains.

Our state has increased the number of specimens it regularly submits to the CDC for genetic sequencing, which detects new strains and vaccine sensitivity. The vaccine manufacturers are testing their vaccines against the new strains and will develop new boosters as needed. Currently, no new boosters are needed.

How Can I Get the Vaccine – FAQ

I want to get my vaccine at a Wake County Public Health site. How do I do that?

Wake County Public Health vaccination sites are by appointment or walk-in.  You can find our schedule for a clinic near you or reserve an appointment to help expedite your check-in. Fill out our brief vaccine form here or call 888-675-4567. If you use our online appointment form, you will:

  • Immediately be able to see the available locations, times and vaccine brands offered by Wake County Public Health. Right now, only Pfizer is authorized for those 12 and older.
  • You'll receive an appointment confirmation.
  • You'll also receive an separate email from North Carolina’s COVID Vaccine Portal to complete your registration with the state. Completing this quick form in advance will speed up your check-in process at your appointment. If you don't get this state email, don't worry – we'll take care of our state registration when you arrive for your confirmed appointment.
  • It will also help if you can show us your appointment information (which should include a barcode/QR code) when you arrive. You can print out or simply show us a picture on your phone or in your email on your smartphone. This will help speed you through the check-in process.

If I receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, how can I make my second appointment?

You should immediately get an email after your first shot or staff will be available on-site to help you make an appointment for your second dose of vaccine. You should be provided with a vaccine card where staff will write the date of your second appointment.

If you don't make an appointment while you're here with us, the best way to check availability and get your second appointment is to call 888-675-4567. We’ll do everything we can to ensure you don’t miss your second dose.

We are regularly adding appointment times.

If I show up without an appointment, can I get the vaccine?

We've simplified the appointment process – there's no more request list, no more wait list and no more required appointments. Walk-ins are now welcome, but we do encourage those who wish to expedite their check-in to fill out our online form. As soon as you answer a few questions, you will immediately have access to choose from our available appointments and receive an email confirmation.

Other Resources

For more information about vaccines, call or email us:

888-675-4567     [email protected]