Vaccine

Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Join our vaccine request list and get your shot with Wake County Public Health!

Anyone 16 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina.

Click the online form below and submit.

If you need help, call our 24-hour Vaccine Hotline.

Vaccine supply is very limited and changes weekly, so we can’t estimate how long it may take to get an appointment.

Our request process is not “first-come, first-serve” and Wake County Public Health will continue to prioritize vaccine appointments using factors like age and risk of contracting the virus. We appreciate your patience as we work to #VaccinateWake!

***IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT 2-DOSE VACCINES***
If you get your first shot with us, the state WILL send us your 2nd dose in the recommended timeframe. We encourage you to make an appointment for your 2nd shot while you’re here with us getting your first. If you could not schedule at that time, check the email or text reminder sent to you for the link to our 2nd dose appointment schedules. If you can’t find that link, call our Vaccine Hotline at 919-250-1515. Call takers are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to schedule your 2nd shot. Shortest wait times are after 6 p.m. and before 8 a.m.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Widespread usage of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help stop the spread of disease in our community. Everyone who wants a vaccine will eventually be able to get one for free. But, that process will take months. Demand still outnumbers supply.

Until the vaccine is more widely available, we strongly encourage you to continue practicing the 3 Ws – Wear a face covering, Wash your hands and Wait six feet apart.

Vaccine Rollout

The vaccine is being rolled out in strict accordance with guidance from the CDC and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). At this time, it’s the NCDHHS, not Wake County Public Health, that determines who will get shipments and how many.

Find your vaccine group at FindMyGroup.NC.gov. To find a vaccination location in Wake County, visit the NC Vaccine Finder. All providers are working closely together to vaccinate the public against COVID-19 and help keep our community healthy and safe.

A Safe, Effective Vaccine 

Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine:

Scientists had a head start.

Although the COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, they were built upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses.

No coronavirus in the vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines imitate the infection, so our bodies think that we are infected without being infected. This creates the antibody defenses we need to fight off COVID-19 if – and when – the real COVID-19 virus attacks.

Thorough & successful testing.

More than 70,000 people participated in clinical trials for two vaccines to see if they are safe and effective. To date, the vaccines are nearly 95% effective in preventing serious illness and death due to COVID-19 with no safety concerns.

No major side effects.

Some people may have temporary reactions after being vaccinated, such as swelling from the injection, tiredness or feeling bad for a day or two. By February 2021, over 45 million Americans had received the vaccines without any new reports of major side effects.

Questions?

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.

Wake County’s goal is to get everyone vaccinated as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. But you may have to wait until the federal government provides North Carolina with enough vaccine.

Getting enough supplies to vaccinate the entire population of Wake County will take months. Find your vaccine group at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

COVID-19 vaccine rollout started in December 2020 and will be available more widely as 2021 progresses. Eventually, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

Wake County Public Health is one of many providers in Wake County receiving shipments of the vaccine. Individuals in the current vaccination groups can join our vaccine request list. Click here to make a request or call our Vaccine Hotline at 919-250-1515.

If you're eligible, we'll place you on the request list and then as soon as we receive enough doses, you'll receive an email, call and/or text with instructions on how to schedule your vaccination appointment.

This is not a first come, first served process. We determine the order of appointments based on risk and need.

Wake County Public Health only finds out a few days in advance of a shipment how many doses it will receive each week, which makes planning challenging. The more doses we get from the state, the more shots we can get into the arms. Wake County has a population of more than 1.1 million people.

Wake County Public Health has worked diligently to make the vaccination process as easy and efficient as possible. But, when launching anything new, improvements are needed and the county is about to move to a new request and appointment system in March. The process won't change, but we hope the experience will be more user friendly.

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.

For Wake County Public Health, individuals in the current vaccination group can request a vaccine appointment by going to our  vaccine request form or call the vaccination hotline phone line at 919-250-1515.

Eventually, everyone who wants a COVID vaccine will be able to get one. Supply is very limited now but should get better soon. Make a plan now to get vaccinated, find your vaccine group at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

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

Clinical trials have proven the vaccines effectively prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19. However, it’s still possible that some vaccinated people could get infected without developing symptoms. This means people who are vaccinated could silently be spreading the virus, especially if they come in close contact with others or stop wearing masks.  

When in public, people need to continue to practice the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait at least 6 feet away, and wash your hands frequently.  

It is important to remember that children up to age 16 cannot be vaccinated and are still at risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can: 

  • Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. 
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household unless any of those people have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. For example, you can visit unvaccinated relatives who all live together or an unvaccinated friend without a mask. If any of the people you are visiting has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and are not vaccinated, wear a mask. 

If you’ve been around or exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. 

Even when you are fully vaccinated, you should: 

  • Wear a mask in public. 
  • Stay socially distant, at least 6 feet, from unvaccinated people at high-risk for COVID-19. 
  • Practice good hand sanitation. 
  • Keep your indoor gatherings small – 2 total households. 
  • Avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
  • Delay domestic and international travel. 

You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. 

We learn more about how long vaccination protection lasts and as more people become protected through vaccination over time.  It's estimated at 70-85% of people will need to receive a vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Some people are reporting 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 are a sign of a proper immune response, similar to those experienced when receiving other routine vaccinations. These routine 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.

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 our follow-up appointment.

All vaccines have shown to be safe and effective in preventing death and serious illness due to COVID-19. It is important that citizens do not "shop" for their preferred vaccine. All the vaccines have shown to be highly effective in reducing death and serious hospitalization from 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
Pfizer 2 doses 21 days
Moderna 2 doses 28 days
Johnson & Johnson 1 dose No 2nd dose required

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.

As more COVID-19 vaccine options come on the market, it’s important to know that they have shown to be safe and effective in preventing death and serious illness due to COVID-19. Remember that any protection is better than zero protection from COVID-19. High vaccination rates in our community will help stop the spread of COVID-19 so we can all return to life.

It is important that citizens do not "shop" for their preferred vaccine. 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

VACCINE BRAND EFFICACY AFTER FULL VACCINATION
Pfizer 95% effective
Moderna 94.1% effective
Johnson & Johnson 81.7% effective

 

Potential side effects are mild and manageable. Side effects from all the vaccines are similar. The most common side effects being 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.

Everyone who is vaccinated will still need to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and frequent hand sanitation until most Wake county is vaccinated.

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.

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.

This video was prepared for our Wake County EMS staff, who would become some of the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine shipment sent to the county. Many said hearing this information was extremely helpful in deciding whether to get the shot. Watch for yourself:

To save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19, vaccination rollout is prioritizing protecting health care workers, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying and those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. Learn more about who is in Group 1Group 2Group 3 and Group 4.

We’ll be sharing more information as soon as possible about when the broader community can expect to receive vaccines. In the meantime, we would encourage you to talk with your health care provider, as well as encourage them to sign up to become a vaccine provider once they are able. See our provider section below.

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. Because the vaccine supply is expected to be so limited at first, Wake County Public Health may be months away from offering any public vaccine clinics.

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.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women may choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant women can talk with their doctors before making the choice. You do not need to take a pregnancy test before you get your vaccine. Women who are breastfeeding may also choose to get vaccinated. The vaccine is not thought to
be a risk to a baby who is breastfeeding. Additional information can be found here.

The timeline for vaccinations is completely dependent on how quickly vaccines are approved, manufactured and shipped. It is also dependent on guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services which is regularly being updated and adapted to federal recommendations. It's best to keep checking back to this website for updates.

Click here for the latest vaccine rollout plan from North Carolina. Wake County Public Health and local hospitals are following this guidance. Due to the limited vaccine supply, it could likely be months before everyone in Wake County can make appointments to be vaccinated.

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.

Children will not receive COVID-19 vaccines until clinical trials are completed to ensure the vaccines are safe and work to prevent COVID illness in children. The Pfizer vaccine can be given to teenagers 16 years old and up at this time. Additional studies are underway for children 12-16.

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.

Wake County Public Health vaccination sites are by appointment only. Fill out our brief request form here or call 919-250-1515. If you're eligible, you will:

  • Receive a confirmation screen once you hit submit. If you share an email with us, you'll also receive a confirmation email that we’ve got your name.
  • When we have vaccine ready for you, Wake County Public Health send you a text, email and/or phone message with instructions on how to make an appointment.
  • 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.  

Staff will be available on-site when you get your first shot 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.

The best way to check availability and get your appointment is to call 919-250-1515. We’ll do everything we can to ensure you don’t miss your second dose.

Sometimes appointment slots fill up fast. We are regularly adding appointment times to our website.

No. Because of limited supply, and in order to ensure our most vulnerable residents get the vaccine first, we are offering vaccine by appointment only. If you think you are eligible, you can fill out our request form at the top of this page. Anyone who shows up at our vaccination clinics without an appointment will be provided information on how to request vaccine. At our drive-thru vaccine clinic at PNC Arena, you will be routed out of the parking lot.

Bringing a printout or screenshot of your appointment information will make it easier for staff to find you in our system.

You will be able to take advantage of the vaccination fast lane if you have successfully completed the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Management System registration (this link will be emailed to you by the state once we invite you to make an appointment). If you haven’t completed the quick questionnaire from the state, you will be routed to an area and staff there will complete your registration.

Everyone with appointments are welcome at all of our vaccine clinics, with or without a car. If you are having trouble with transportation, please call our Vaccine Hotline at 919-250-1515.

For the PNC Arena site, public transportation is available via GoRaleigh.

  • Take Edwards Mill Bus 26 to the stop at Edwards Mill Road at Trinity Road Northbound;
  • Or take Blue Ridge Bus 27 to the stop at Blue Ridge Road at West Chase Boulevard Southbound.

The county will run a shuttle from that stop to the vaccination site and return people to the bus stop following vaccination and observation. These shuttles will run continuously.

Other Resources

For more information about vaccines, call or email us.