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Updated November 6, 2023
Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the updated COVID-19 vaccine, formulated to match current strains of the virus.
If you come to UCSF for primary care, you can ask for the updated vaccine at your next appointment. We're no longer offering the previous round of bivalent booster shots, which the FDA has phased out.
COVID-19 vaccines remain the best public health measure for protecting people from the virus, slowing transmission and reducing the likelihood of new variants emerging.
Who's eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine
Everyone who's at least 6 months old is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for kids at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.
Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination
Recommendations for staying up-to-date can vary depending on your age, previous COVID-19 vaccinations you've received and whether you're immunocompromised. View eligibility criteria and guidance from the CDC for the general population and for people who are immunocompromised.
UCSF requires patients awaiting lung transplants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We also strongly encourage this for patients awaiting kidney, liver, pancreas and heart transplants. We updated these policies on May 11, 2023, in response to the end of the public health emergency and the availability of highly effective therapies for COVID-19.
Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine
If you come to UCSF for primary care, you can ask for a COVID-19 vaccine during your next primary care visit. We no longer offer drive-through vaccination.
Some patients may be able to get the vaccine – including the updated formulation – more quickly through a nearby pharmacy or vaccination clinic. To schedule an appointment, visit your pharmacy's website, your county's vaccine website, California's My Turn or the national vaccines.gov site.
If you prefer the COVID-19 vaccine of a specific manufacturer, we recommend scheduling an appointment at your local pharmacy. Supplies fluctuate at UCSF and we cannot guarantee the availability of specific brands.
Public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people
Check the latest COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC. Learn about your risks with regard to socializing with vaccinated or unvaccinated people, other social activities outside the home, domestic and international travel, and more.
FAQ: Understanding the COVID-19 vaccine
Almost everyone benefits from getting vaccinated. In addition to reducing your chances of contracting COVID-19, the vaccines have been very effective at preventing severe illness and death in those who do become infected. The COVID-19 virus is always changing (making new variants), so it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest formulations of the vaccine (sometimes called boosters), which stoke the immune system to fight both old and new forms of the virus.
For more information, explore the CDC's answers to frequently asked questions, including:
- What are the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines?
- Are COVID-19 vaccines safe even though they were developed rapidly?
- If I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant, can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
- If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
- Do I need to wait after getting a flu shot or another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
- Why should I get vaccinated if I might get COVID-19 anyway?