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Updated April 1, 2022

Notice: Health officials have authorized additional booster shots for all adults 50 and older. Patients 12 and older who are immunocompromised can also receive another booster dose. Schedule through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307.

 

COVID-19 vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from the virus, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging.

Below you'll find information on who can get the COVID-19 vaccine, where to get it, and who's eligible for booster shots, plus FAQs about vaccine safety and more.

Who's eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone who's at least 5 years old is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Trials are ongoing to evaluate the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in children under 5. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for kids at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.

UCSF Health offers COVID-19 vaccines to anyone who is eligible, not just UCSF patients. If you're seeking a booster shot, see information about eligibility below.

Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses and two appointments. When you get your first dose, we'll schedule your second. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose.

Anyone who is eligible can get a vaccine at UCSF's Laurel Heights and Mission Bay clinics. You do not need to be a UCSF patient. 

  • Laurel Heights campus (ages 5+; general public)
    3333 California St.
    San Francisco, CA 94418
    Hours: M-Th, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed noon - 1 p.m.)
    We strongly recommend making an appointment. Schedule through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307.
  • Mission Bay campus (ages 5+; general public)
    601 16th St. (corner of 16th and Owens streets)
    San Francisco, CA 94158
    Hours: M-Th, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. | Fridays, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. (closed noon - 1 p.m. all days)
    We strongly recommend making an appointment. Schedule through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307.  

For some patients, it may be quicker to get the vaccine at their local 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.

More information about vaccine appointments for kids

 

COVID-19 booster shots

U.S. health officials have approved COVID-19 booster shots for all adult recipients of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. If you're 50 or older, you can get a second booster dose four months after your first booster.

(For information about booster eligibility for children, see our pediatric COVID-19 vaccine page.) 

You can receive your booster at one of the UCSF vaccination sites listed above.

Choose whichever booster you'd like, no matter which vaccine you received initially. You can get a Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shot. All are approved. (Pfizer and Moderna are preferred in most situations.)

To select a particular booster, schedule an appointment through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. Vaccine inventory can vary, and we can't guarantee we'll have the booster you want if you walk in without an appointment.

You can also schedule booster shots with some primary care physicians or at a local pharmacy.

Johnson & Johnson eligibility

If you received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, you should get a booster at least two months after your shot. 

If your booster dose was also Johnson & Johnson, you can choose to receive an additional Moderna or Pfizer booster (third shot) at least four months after your second shot.

Moderna and Pfizer eligibility

If you received Moderna or Pfizer, you should get a booster at least five months after your second shot. 

If you're 50 or older, you can choose to receive an additional booster (fourth shot) at least four months after your first booster.

The purpose of a booster shot – which helps maximize and extend the protection that the COVID-19 vaccine provides – is different from an "additional dose" of the vaccine, which was approved in August 2021 for immunocompromised patients. (If you're immunocompromised, find out about eligibility for a third shot of either Pfizer or Moderna in the next section.)

Additional doses for immunocompromised patients

Moderately to severely immunocompromised patients who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get three vaccine doses and a booster (four shots in total), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The third dose can provide additional protection to those whose immune system didn't fully respond to the initial two doses. The CDC recommends that all patients receive a fourth shot (booster) three months after their third dose. Patients can choose to receive a fifth shot (booster) at least four months after their fourth shot.

The CDC recommends additional doses or boosters of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for patients who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. See details about the recommended doses and timeline for your situation.

UCSF Health is offering third doses and boosters to eligible patients. See above for our locations, plus where to book an appointment for a shot in your community. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland also offers additional doses for immunocompromised patients at the hospital's Outpatient Center.

Eligibility

You're considered immunocompromised and eligible for a third dose if you:

  • Are receiving treatment for tumors or blood cancer
  • Have received an organ transplant and are taking medication to suppress your immune system
  • Have received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress your immune system
  • Have a condition that moderately or severely impairs immune function
  • Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Are taking high-dose corticosteroids or other medications that suppress immune function

Guidelines for immunocompromised patients

If you received a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series you should get:

  • third vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna more than one month after your second dose. 
  • fourth shot (called a booster by the CDC) of Pfizer or Moderna at least three months after your third dose.
  • An optional fifth shot (booster) of Pfizer or Moderna at least four months after your fourth shot.

You can mix and match Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or continue with the same manufacturer.

If you received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should get:

  • second vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least one month after your Johnson & Johnson vaccine 
  • third shot (booster) of Pfizer or Moderna at least two months after your second dose

Free MUNI rides in San Francisco 

The San Francisco public transit agency is providing free MUNI and paratransit rides to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The offer is good for trips to any vaccination site. You'll have to show your vaccination card or proof of your appointment (such as an email or text confirmation) when you board.

Public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people

See the latest COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC. Learn about your risks when it comes to socializing with vaccinated or unvaccinated people, other social activities outside the home, domestic and international travel, and more.