November 24, 2021

5 things to know about COVID-19 and the vaccines

Kids 5 and older have been cleared to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and boosters are now recommended for everyone 18 years and older.

It’s safe to get your flu shot even if you’ve just been vaccinated for COVID-19, and vice versa. No waiting period between shots is needed.

Vaccines are a critical part of slowing, and eventually stopping, the spread of COVID-19, and Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing you with vaccine information as it’s available.

Here is an update on 5 things we know about the COVID-19 vaccines.

  1. Kids get the OK for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was recently authorized for emergency use in children 5 to 11 years old, is now available to all people age 5 and older. The Pfizer vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a 2-dose primary series, 21 days apart. It comes as a lower dose (10 micrograms instead of 30 micrograms) and is given with a smaller needle than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older. The appropriate dose is determined by age at the time of the dose, regardless of the child’s weight or age at the time of a prior dose.

  2. Boosters are here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending booster doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for all people 18 years and older. For people who received their primary vaccination with either Moderna or Pfizer, a booster dose can be administered at least 6 months after full vaccination (following the second dose). As previously recommended by the CDC, for people 18 years and older who received their primary vaccination with the 1-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a booster dose can be administered at least 2 months after the first vaccination. Any of the COVID-19 vaccines can be used for booster vaccination, regardless of the vaccine product used for primary vaccination.

  3. You don’t have to wait to get the flu shot. It’s safe to get your flu shot even if you’ve just been vaccinated for COVID-19 or gotten a booster, and it’s safe to get the COVID-19 vaccination or a booster even if you just got the flu shot. No waiting period between shots is needed.

  4. Masks remain important in many settings. Even though mask mandates vary in many areas, risk remains for ongoing transmission of circulating virus variants, including the delta variant. Masks continue to be required at all Kaiser Permanente facilities. When in public indoor spaces, wearing a mask adds protection, in addition to handwashing and physical distancing. Although wearing a mask may not be required in certain conditions for people who are fully vaccinated, it remains prudent to do so. The CDC advises mask-wearing — even for people who are fully vaccinated — for those who live in a place with “substantial” or “high” COVID-19 transmission. The guidance for people who are unvaccinated remains the same: Always mask up indoors.

  5. You should get vaccinated if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. Getting vaccinated while pregnant can provide important protection for you and your unborn baby. The CDC recommends that people who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Kaiser Permanente encourages people who have not been vaccinated to receive their primary COVID-19 vaccination series as well as the flu shot. In addition, even after being fully vaccinated, anyone with symptoms of illness should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible and isolate at home.

Stay informed

Visit kp.org/covidvaccine for the latest information and to schedule a vaccination appointment. Kaiser Permanente members can also download the kp.org app for convenient access to information.