How and Where to Get COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters in Connecticut

Posted on 07/20/22 by Emily Paulin, Elissa Chudwin

A health care worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at <br>the Hartford Convention Center.

  • Pfizer & Moderna: Authorized for people age 6 months and older. Both Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology, which prompts the body to make its own version of COVID-19’s spike protein, a key part of the virus.
  • Novavax:  Authorized for adults age 18 and older. Novavax uses a more traditional vaccine technology, directly delivering a lab-made version of the COVID spike protein upon injection.
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J): Authorized for people 18 and older who only have access to the J&J vaccine, or who cannot receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for medical reasons. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its J&J guidance due to a rare but serious blood clotting disorder associated with the one-shot vaccine.

The state's COVID-19 data dashboard is tracking how many people have been vaccinated.

  • People ages 5 to 17: Pfizer recipients ages 5 to 17 should get a booster at least five months after completing their initial two-shot series, according to the CDC. 
  • People age 18 and older: Moderna recipients should get their booster five months after their second shot, and Johnson & Johnson recipients should get a booster at least two months after the first shot.  
  • Second boosters: Those age 50 and older should get a second booster of Pfizer or Moderna at least four months after their initial booster, the CDC says. Adolescents age 12 and older who are immunocompromised or have had certain organ transplants should also get a second Pfizer booster. People age 18 and older with the same health conditions can get a second Moderna booster. And people who are immunocompromised and have already gotten four shots — three in the primary series and one booster — are eligible for a fifth. 

Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna, distinct from boosters, are recommended for specific immunocompromised people age 12 and older. These recipients may also get a booster — a fourth dose — at least six months after the third shot, according to CDC guidance. The agency recommends that children ages 5 to 11 who are immunocompromised get a third Pfizer dose 28 days after their second shot.

Novavax booster shots are being studied in clinical trials and are expected to be approved by the FDA in the coming weeks.

It’s safe and effective to choose which vaccine you receive as a booster, either Pfizer or Moderna, regardless of which initial vaccines your received. Novavax booster shots are expected to be approved by the FDA in the coming weeks. Health officials have discouraged people from receiving an initial J&J vaccine or booster due to a rare but serious blood clotting disorder.

  • Retail pharmacies, including Big Y, CVS (and some of its Target-based pharmacies), Rite Aid, Shop Rite, Walgreens and Walmart, are offering vaccines and boosters. Many sites let you book appointments for the specific brand of vaccine or booster you prefer, based on availability. Search their online COVID-19 vaccine pages for locations and appointments (some are accepting walk-ins). Note that some pages require you to answer questions about your vaccination status before presenting the option for a booster. 
  • The federal government’s vaccines websiteVaccines.gov, lets you search for vaccines and boosters by zip code. Get the same information by texting your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489).
  • Local and state vaccination sites, including hospitals, health departments, community health centers, pharmacies, mobile clinics and local events, are offering vaccines and boosters, with some sites accepting walk-ins. Visit covidvaccinefinder.ct.gov to explore providers near you. Some providers will direct you to the state's Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) to book appointments with them.
  • At home, if you are physically or medically unable to leave your home to get a vaccination. If this includes you, fill out this form for the Department of Public Health (DPH) and a person in your town will contact you. The DPH only shares home-bound vaccination requests with towns once a week on Mondays, so it could take a week or so for you to be contacted.
  • Through your veterans Affairs (VA) health facility. Veterans who receive care from VA health facilities are eligible for vaccinations through the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Caregivers enrolled in the Caregiver Support Program may be eligible, too. Call 203-932-5711, ext. 7784, 5627 or 7754, to schedule an appointment. More information available here. 
  • Through your employer or living facility. Some residents who work or live in healthcare settings, such hospitals or nursing homes, may be able to get vaccinated through their workplaces or residences. Check before scheduling an appointment.
  • Call 211 for help scheduling an appointment. The line is open 24/7. (Anyone who is out-of-state or using Relay can connect to Connecticut 211 toll free by dialing 800-203-1234.)

Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, along with your health insurance card, if you have one. You won’t be charged for the initial vaccine series, or a booster shot, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine. After your first shot, bring your vaccine card for subsequent shots.

Most residents and staff of Connecticut’s long-term care facilities were offered first and second doses through a federal program that provided free on-site vaccinations in late 2020 and early 2021. The program has ended, but the federal government continues to allocate COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to pharmacies that are partnered with long-term care facilities to provide vaccinations, mainly on-site.  

Facilities that don’t have a pharmacy partner are encouraged to work with local or state health departments — or the federal government, if need be — to provide vaccinations. 

You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine or a booster. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself.

Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.

You should get a small white card at your vaccination appointment with your name, birth date, name of the vaccine you received and the date it was administered. If you receive the Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax
vaccine, bring your card when you get your second shot.  

You may need your vaccine card to schedule a third vaccine dose, for certain immunocompromised people, or a booster shot.  You may also need it for certain kinds of travel or other activities and may want to take a photo of it with your smartphone for your own records. But experts warn that posting a photo of your card to social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft.

If you’ve lost your vaccine card, call the site where you were vaccinated to request a new one or a copy of your vaccination record. You can also contact your state health department to request a replacement card or a copy of your record.

All four vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections and are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from the disease. But no vaccine is 100 percent effective, and infections can still occur post-vaccination. 


This guide, originally published Jan. 21, 2021, was updated on July 20, 2022, with new information about the Novavax vaccine.

This story is provided by AARP Connecticut. Visit the AARP Connecticut page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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