Skip to Content

COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccines are safe and effective. They are our best tool to help protect you from serious illness due to COVID-19.

To receive a vaccine, please register through the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) registration tool.

Register Now with NMDOH
There are many vaccination sites across the state.

We encourage everyone to get vaccinated and stay up to date on vaccinations. If you have questions, here are some trusted resources to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines:

NMDOH COVID-19 vaccine information
CDC COVID-19 vaccine information

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

While we strongly encourage getting vaccinated, the decision whether to receive a vaccine is your choice. A conversation between you and your provider may help you make an informed decision.

When, where, and how can I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

You can register for the vaccine through the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) registration tool. You can then schedule your appointment at a convenient location.

Will I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine? How much will it cost?

Most patients and members should not have to pay copays or coinsurance for any of the vaccines. However, some self-funded employer plans have different requirements so you should check with your employer to be sure.

How do COVID-19 vaccines work?

COVID-19 vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses, so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Your immune response can cause some symptoms or side effects, but this leads to protection against the actual virus. There is no live COVID-19 virus in these vaccines and there is no way for the vaccine to give people COVID-19.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. mRNA vaccines have been studied for more than 20 years. This type of vaccine uses your body to briefly produce a viral protein to train your immune system in recognizing the COVID-19 virus.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. To make the vaccine, the company took a harmless cold virus and replaced a small piece of its genetic instructions with coronavirus genes. Scientists changed the virus so it can enter cells but cannot make people sick. The body’s immune system then fights off the pieces of coronavirus. This technology was used to create the Ebola vaccine.

With all three vaccines, your immune system can then fight off the virus and prevent the COVID-19 illness.

Will my child or teen be able to get the vaccine?

Yes, the CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. Everyone 5 years and older should also get a COVID-19 booster, if eligible.

Two options are available for children, Pfizer and Moderna.

  • Pfizer - Children ages 6 months to 4 years old are eligible for a 3-dose Pfizer primary series. Children ages 5-17 are able to get a 2-dose Pfizer primary series.
  • Moderna - Children ages 6 months to 5 years are able to get a 2-dose Moderna primary series.

Clinical trial results show that all available vaccines are safe, well-tolerated and effective against symptomatic COVID-19 among children studied.

To receive a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Children 15 and younger must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or adult caregiver, who can also sign a consent form.
  • Children ages 16 and 17 may come for and receive a vaccine on their own, but must bring a consent form signed by their parent, guardian, or adult caregiver.

At Presbyterian, we provide some COVID-19 vaccinations during scheduled well-child visits, which are also a great time to ask questions and to make sure your child is up to date on all necessary vaccinations.

We also encourage families to register and schedule their child(ren) for the vaccine through the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) site at

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

The CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. We encourage you to speak with your provider about the vaccine.

Here is information about COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  • There is no live COVID-19 virus in the vaccines and there is no way for the vaccine to give people COVID-19. Other vaccines that are currently recommended in pregnancy also do not include live viruses.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe to get during pregnancy and do not cause miscarriage or early delivery.
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. The vaccine is recommended if you are considering getting pregnant.
  • If you become pregnant after you receive the first dose of the vaccine, you should continue to complete your vaccination series.
  • After you get vaccinated, the antibodies your body makes may be passed through breastmilk and may help to protect your baby from the virus. Babies with underlying medical conditions and babies born premature (earlier than 37 weeks) might be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Getting the vaccine will help prevent you from getting severely ill with COVID-19.

If you are pregnant and experience a fever after your vaccination, you should take acetaminophen (Tylenol). Fever for any reason during pregnancy has been associated with risks to your baby.

What should I expect after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may feel like flu and may even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

*If you get a fever after receiving the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends talking to your doctor about taking an over the counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and dress in light layers to help stay comfortable.

To help reduce any pain or discomfort where you got your shot, you can apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area. Moving or exercising your arm may also help.

Call your provider if:

  • The redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases or grows 24 hours after you got it.
  • Your side effects are worrying you or do not go away after a few days.
  • Your temperature is 100°F or higher.

After I receive my vaccination, am I fully protected against COVID-19?

Not quite. You will need to wait two weeks after your second dose for Pfizer and Moderna and single dose after Johnson & Johnson for the vaccines to work. See CDC guidance here

How do I get my booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now available at sites across the state. Use the CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to learn if and when you are eligible for a booster.

People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have specific recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. Learn more here

To receive your booster vaccine, you may visit one of the vaccination sites in your community, including your local pharmacy. You may also be prompted to schedule your booster through the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) registration tool.