To stop this pandemic, we need to use all of our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect
your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fight
the virus, if you are exposed (also called immunity). Other steps, like wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth
and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you don’t live with, also help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Experts also think that
getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. These vaccines
cannot give you the disease itself.
The vaccines are safe. The U.S. vaccine safety system
makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. All
the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone
through the same safety tests and meet the same
standards as any other vaccines produced through the
years. A system in place across the entire country that
allows CDC to watch for safety issues and make sure the
vaccines stay safe.
Different types of COVID-19 vaccines will be available.
Most of these vaccines are given in two shots, one at
a time and spaced apart. The first shot gets your body
ready. The second shot is given at least three weeks later
to make sure you have full protection. If you are told you
need two shots, make sure that you get both of them. The vaccines may work in slightly different ways, but all types of the vaccines will help protect you.
The vaccines may cause side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. These reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. Having these types of side effects does NOT mean that you have COVID-19. If you have questions about your health after your shot, call your doctor, nurse, or clinic. As with any medicine, it is rare but possible to have a serious reaction, such as not being able to breathe. It is very unlikely that this will happen, but if it does, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
When you get the vaccine, you and your healthcare
worker will both need to wear masks.
CDC recommends that during the pandemic, people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside their household, when in healthcare
facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a
Even after you get your vaccine, you will need to keep wearing a mask that covers
your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from
other people you do not live with. This gives you and others the best protection from
catching the virus. Right now, experts don’t know how long the vaccine will protect
you, so it’s a good idea to continue following the guidelines from CDC and your health
department. We also know not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away,
so it’s still important to protect yourself and others.