According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccines currently available in the United States are more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting vaccinated will protect yourself and those around you and will help keep your community healthy. Read more below to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines.

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Getting the COVID-19 vaccine protects you and those around you.

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The vaccine helps your body to fight the virus if you are exposed.

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Widespread vaccination is crucial to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The COVID-19 vaccine will not give you COVID-19 or make you contagious.

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Side-effects similar to a flu shot (sore arm, tiredness and headache) may occur but show up in minutes to weeks, not years.

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Based on research, it is believed the vaccine is much safer in comparison to the virus.

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Even if you already had COVID-19, you should get the vaccine.

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COVID-19 vaccine trials met the highest standards of scientific research and diverse participants were included to determine safety and effectiveness.

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Hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing continues to be essential, even after you get the vaccine.

I'm worried about getting the vaccine.

We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated. This is the first time we’ve been faced with a situation like this in our lifetimes. And there have been times throughout history where our government and healthcare system has abused communities of color. All of this can lead to mistrust and concern. We believe that COVID-19 vaccination is the best tool to help stop the pandemic, keep people from getting sick and dying, allow us to spend time with our loved ones again, re-open schools and businesses, and go back to our normal way of life. It addition to protecting you and your loved ones from illness, getting vaccinated means we can safely return to doing the things we miss. You shouldn’t wait!

This seems too fast. How was a vaccine developed so quickly?

The COVID-19 vaccine development process included all the usual safety steps – none were skipped. The process was quicker than we’re used to for a few main reasons:

  • Scientists and public health experts around the entire world focused their efforts on the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. This has not happened in our lifetimes! Companies produced millions of vaccine doses at the same time as the clinical trials were happening – this way, we would not need to wait to actually make the vaccines at the end of the safety tests.
  • Scientists didn’t have to start from scratch. They used what they learned from previous coronavirus outbreaks like SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012 to help figure out the science behind how the COVID vaccine works.
How well does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

All three vaccines available now are very effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19, hospitalizations and death. Data from clinical trials shows that Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection. The Johnson & Johnson, one-dose, vaccine is 86% effective at preventing severe illness or death from COVID-19. The vaccines are effective for all genders, races and ethnicities. This is very good news!

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given out across the United States with no more than a handful of reports of serious side effects. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and FDA will continue to closely study the results of all vaccine trials before approving any vaccine for use.

Following a careful safety review, the FDA and CDC recommended that the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should start being used again. Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was briefly paused so scientists could study 15 extremely rare reports of blood clots out of nearly 8 million people who had received the vaccine so far. After this careful review, scientists feel that the potentially life-saving benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine FAR outweigh its known and potential risks. Our top scientists and doctors have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. It is important to keep in mind that the risk of this blood clotting side effect is significantly less than 1% and the risk of developing a blood clot from an active COVID infection is 16.5%. This is part of the reason that the CDC and FDA recommended we use the vaccine again.

Most sites are offering all three vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. You have a choice of which vaccine you would like to receive when you schedule your appointment.

Which vaccine is the best?

The best vaccine is the one that is most convenient for you. It is very important for all of us to get vaccinated as soon as possible. All three vaccines available to us now are very effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19, hospitalization and death.

What side effects might the vaccine cause?

The most common side effects reported by people who received the COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Fatigue Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fever Pain or swelling at the site of the injection (upper arm)

Most people report that the side effects are more noticeable after the second dose (if it is a two-dose vaccine). Any side effects typically go away after a day or two.

Can't I just skip the vaccine and wait until enough other people are immune?

COVID-19 can be serious, and even deadly, and there is no way to know how the virus will affect you. And even if you catch the virus and don’t get very sick, you could still spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. COVID-19 has proven to have much more serious symptoms than the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is by far the safer bet. Public health experts say that it would be well after 2021 for enough people in the US to become naturally immune to COVID-19, and that without a vaccine, hundreds of thousands more people will die.

I heard the vaccine can cause infertility. Is this true?

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to get the vaccine?

Yes, you should. After you have recovered from COVID-19, scientists do not yet know how long you are immune from catching COVID-19 again. The vaccine will be your best protection.

Do you have to be a US citizen to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. the COVID-19 vaccine is available for all, regardless of a person’s immigration status.

What does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, with or without insurance.

It’s important to find information about the COVID-19 vaccine from a reliable source like local public health departments, educational and health institutions, and medical professionals.

Below are sources you can trust to get accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccine:

DEVELOPING THE VACCINE

RESEARCHERS PRIORITIZED SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY

While researchers worked quickly to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, safety and effectiveness were always the top priority. The vaccine was created with everyone’s safety in mind without cutting corners or skipping steps.

 

Researchers used years of previous research in other viruses and vaccines to help inform a vaccine development process for COVID-19.

 

For the past year, everyone involved dedicated all their resources and time to developing the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and philanthropic organizations.

 

Many governments around the world, including the U.S. government, and private funders invested in the vaccine, which allowed pharmaceutical companies to focus on research and clinical trials instead of fundraising, one of the most time-consuming parts of vaccine development.

 

Finally, because of the financial support, researchers were able to conduct different parts of the development process at the same time instead of one after another, shortening the process. No steps were skipped in the process of developing the COVID-19 vaccines.

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