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Last reviewed 1/19/2022

Notice: UCSF is providing COVID-19 booster shots for all adult patients and third doses for immunocompromised patients.

 

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 vaccine in children under 5, as well as Moderna trials for kids ages 5 and older. 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. 

Our Parnassus clinic serves UCSF patients, employees and learners.

  • Laurel Heights campus (ages 5+; general public)
    3333 California St.
    Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    We strongly recommend making an appointment. Schedule through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. (If you get a busy signal or can't connect, call (866) 580-2664.)
  • Mission Bay campus (ages 5+; general public)
    601 16th St. (corner of 16th and Owens streets)
    Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    We strongly recommend making an appointment. Schedule through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. (If you get a busy signal or can't connect, call (866) 580-2664.) 
  • Parnassus campus (ages 16+; UCSF patients, staff and learners only)
    Millberry Union
    500 Parnassus Ave.
    Ocean View Room
    Hours: M-F, 6:10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    We strongly recommend making an appointment. Schedule through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. (If you get a busy signal or can't connect, call (866) 580-2664.) If you're driving, allow time to find parking or consider using our parking valet. 

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. (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.

To select a particular booster, schedule an appointment through MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. (If you can't connect, call (866) 580-2664.) 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.

Moderna and Pfizer eligibility

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

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 third dose, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This additional dose can provide additional protection to those whose immune system didn't fully respond to the initial two doses. 

The CDC has not recommended an additional dose for patients who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently, there's not enough data to determine whether immunocompromised people who received that vaccine also potentially have an improved response after an additional dose.

UCSF Health is offering third doses 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

  • Wait at least four weeks after your second vaccine dose to get the third shot. If you have received COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy, you must wait 90 days before getting your third vaccine dose.
  • Get the same vaccine type (Pfizer or Moderna) as your initial shots, if possible.
  • You do not need a note from your primary care provider to prove that you're eligible for a third dose.

After your third dose, you should plan to schedule a booster (your fourth shot). You'll be eligible for the booster five months after receiving a third Pfizer dose or six months after a third Moderna 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.