COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines

Last updated: February 4, 2022

The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the pandemic started to make one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible.  Although CDC does not have a role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, CDC has been working closely with health departments and partners to develop vaccination plans.

Now that there are authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are key things you need to know about the new COVID-19 Vaccination Program and COVID-19 vaccines.

The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines is a Top Priority

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.    

CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe, as an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase our ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines.  V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccination Will Help Protect You

We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated now that COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States. While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines and the benefits of getting vaccinated.

Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

Can a COVID-19 vaccine give me COVID-19?

No.  None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United Stated contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines cause serious side effects like anaphylaxis, myocarditis, and even death.

Serious adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination are rare but may occur. For public awareness and in the interest of transparency, CDC is providing updates on serious adverse events.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No.  Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If I get a COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to take other precautions?

Yes.  Even if you get vaccinated, we recommend you continue with the other prevention measures you've been doing, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, and limiting gatherings.  Many people in our state will need to wait months to get the vaccine, and masks and other prevention measures are still recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to people who are not yet vaccinated.

It can be difficult to know which source of information you can trust.  Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.

You May Have Some Side Effects - This is a Normal Sign That Your Body is Building Protection

The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick.  Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.  Learn more about the latest recommendations for fully vaccinated people.

Vaccine Boosters

Some COVID-19 vaccine recipients can get booster shots. Booster doses will help provide continued protection for populations at high risk for severe COVID-19. This is especially important with the rise of variants increasing across the United States.

Cost is Not an Obstacle

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization authority and watch a video on what an EUA is.

If more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved by FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are One of Many Important Tools

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.  CDC will continue to update its website as vaccine recommendations and supply change.  For Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination visit CDC.

CDC COVID Data Tracker 

US COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Data Tracker lists maps, charts, and data provided by the CDC.  It allows users to interact with a variety of data on COVID-19 that is updated daily.

You have questions. That's good. Hear from Public Health Experts at It's Up to You: COVID-19 Vaccination. Hesitant to get vaccinated because of religious beliefs? That's okay. Hear from Christian, Catholic, and Muslim leaders. Vaccine hesitancy in Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities exists. Wanting to know more is a great thing - it means you want to be informed. ¿Tiene preguntas? Está bien. Ahora es el momento de conocer los datos. De Ti Depende. We're in this together.

Interested in learning about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for kids? The Ad Council presents "COVID-19 Vaccine & Young Kids: Separating Fact from Fear with Dr. Lee Savios Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and epidemiologist, Dr. Katelyn Jetelina.