COVID-19: Vaccine FAQs

The vaccines now being used to help protect against COVID-19 have been tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing infection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommend the shots for ages 5 and up (depending on the particular vaccine). People with a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines should consult with their healthcare provider before getting the COVID-19 vaccine to determine whether it’s safe for them.

Below are 10 FAQs about the vaccines. Decisions about vaccine eligibility, booster doses and other info about COVID-19 change frequently. For the most updated info, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 webpages.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine  and how can I be sure it is safe?

The COVID-19 vaccine is medicine injected into your upper arm that teaches your immune system to produce antibodies that fight off the virus if you’re exposed to it.

The vaccines will not make you sick with COVID-19, and if you do end up getting the virus after being vaccinated, you will likely have a milder illness. Hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in the U.S., and the vaccines are undergoing the “most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history,” according to the CDC. 

Following rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness and quality, the FDA and CDC have authorized the:

Booster Shots

While all 3 vaccines are considered highly effective, the CDC and FDA have authorized additional booster shots for each vaccine to help deal with reduced immunity over time, particularly as more contagious COVID-19 variants circulate. Learn more  about the booster shots and what age groups are eligible for them. 

Vaccines remain the safest, most effective protection we have against serious diseases.  Learn more about their safety and importance.

If I already had COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Experts still don’t know how long you’re protected from getting sick again after having COVID-19. It is possible, though rare, that you could be infected again. If you were treated for COVID-19 and have recovered, ask your doctor when you can get vaccinated. 

People who currently have COVID-19 should wait until recovery before getting the vaccine. 

Can my children get vaccinated?

Children and teens ages 5 and up can now be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for this age group.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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