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COVID-19 Vaccine: What do you need to know?
COVID-19 vaccination can help protect you from getting COVID-19! The vaccine will help by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness. Here are a few things you should know about the vaccine and its distribution.

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated once a COVID-19 vaccine is available to general public. While these vaccines were developed as quickly as possible, many processes and procedures remain in place to make sure the vaccine is safe and approved for use. Safety is a top priority and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.

Based on what we currently know, the COVID-19 vaccine will:
  • help keep you from getting COVID-19
  • be a safer way to help build protection
  • be an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and reopen our communities

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
Before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use, clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show that they are safe and effective. At this time, several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for use in the United States. These vaccines have been issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

  • The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection for a limited time. However, experts do not know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 is greater than any benefits of natural immunity.
  • Experts are regularly trying to learn important aspects of both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine. We will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Most of the vaccines that have been developed require two doses. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot, 3-4 weeks later, adds to the protection and provides maximum effectiveness.

After being vaccinated, you may experience some side effects. This is a normal response and indicates that the vaccine is working. Read more about what to expect after being vaccinated and helpful tips.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick.

  • Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.

  • No. More studies need to be conducted before COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for children younger than age 16.

  • Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

  • No. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

  • Currently authorized vaccines, and most vaccines under development, require two doses of vaccine. The first shot helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection.

  • There may be side effects, but they should go away within a few days. Possible side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches. This does not mean you have COVID-19. Side effects are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity. If they don’t go away in a week, or you have more serious symptoms, call your doctor.

  • All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.
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