COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for those ages 16-23

Last Modified: 4/01/2021


This post was written by Eric Reichenbach, MD, and the Parkview Pharmacy team.

Which vaccine should I get, based on my age?
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people age 16 and older and is given in two doses, 21 days apart.
  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people age 18 and older and is given in two doses, 28 days apart.
  • The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people age 18 and older and is given in one dose.
Can I receive another vaccine before or after I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

All COVID-19 vaccines should be administered alone, with a minimum of 14 days (2 weeks) before or after the patient receives any other vaccines. This is due to a lack of data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine being administered simultaneously with other vaccines.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I recently tested positive for the virus?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you need to have finished with the quarantine period recommended by your physician and have been fever free for at least 24 hours with no fever-reducing medicine to proceed with the vaccine.

If you have not finished your quarantine period or have a persisting fever, you will be asked to reschedule your vaccination.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I received monoclonal antibody treatment or convalescent plasma therapy for COVID 19? 

This depends on the date that you received the treatment. The CDC suggests that vaccination should be deferred for at least 90 days as a precautionary measure to avoid interference of the antibody treatment with the vaccine immune responses.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I had a routine tuberculosis screening?

Yes, you can get the COVID-19 vaccination on the same day or any day after a tuberculin skin test (TST) is placed. A TST will not interfere with the body’s response to vaccination. The reliability of a TST is expected to be unchanged if a TST is placed before or simultaneously with a COVID-19 vaccine. 

COVID-19 vaccination should not be delayed because of testing for tuberculosis infection. A TST is not a vaccine and is not subject to the general recommendation for an interval of at least 14 days between mRNA COVID-19 vaccination and receiving another vaccine.

If the TST is not administered on the same day as the vaccine, the CDC recommends that the TST be delayed at least four weeks after completion of the COVID-19 vaccination because the reliability of a negative TST result soon after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination is unknown.

Should I take acetaminophen and/or antihistamines before receiving a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Medications to reduce fever and pain (acetaminophen, NSAID) may be taken to treat post-vaccination local or systemic symptoms, if medically appropriate. Routine administration of these medications before vaccination is not currently recommended because information on the impact of such use on mRNA COVID-19 vaccine induced antibody responses is not available at this time.

Administration of antihistamines before mRNA COVID-19 vaccination to prevent allergic reactions is not recommended. Antihistamines do not prevent anaphylaxis and their use might mask cutaneous symptoms, which could delay diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis.

Under what circumstances should I not get the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine?

The CDC considers a history of the following to be a contraindication to vaccination (it is not recommended) with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components
  • Immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components (including polyethylene glycol [PEG])

    These patients should not receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccination at this time unless they have been evaluated by an allergist/immunologist and it is determined that they can safely receive the vaccine (under observation, in a setting with advanced medical care available)

Patients with an immediate allergic reaction to the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should not receive additional doses of either of the mRNA vaccines.

Should I avoid the vaccine if I have other allergies?

Many allergies are not a contraindication or precaution to the vaccine, meaning you should be safe to proceed with receiving it. These include other food, pet, venom or environmental allergies, or allergies to oral medications.

The vial stoppers of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not made with natural rubber latex, so there is no contraindication or precaution for persons with a latex allergy.


If you are unsure about the COVID-19 vaccine, or have questions regarding your specific medical circumstances, always consult with your primary care physician.

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