Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the COVID Vaccine
Why get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccine teaches your body how to fight off the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. By stopping the spread of COVID-19, we can keep businesses, schools, and other venues open.
How many shots are needed?
There are two mRNA vaccines that received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA- Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Both vaccines require two shots. The first shot helps slowly build protection. You will be scheduled to come back in 3-4 weeks for the second shot. This will provide you with the most protection from the virus.
What is an mRNA vaccine?
An mRNA vaccine teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response in our bodies. That immune response, produces antibodies to protect us from getting seriously infected if the COVID-19 virus enters our bodies.
How effective is the vaccine?
Both vaccines are up to 95% effective according to results from two large clinical trials. Those who got both doses of the vaccine had a strengthened immune response which prevented serious COVID-19 infection.
The vaccine was developed in a short time, is it safe?
Even though the COVID-19 vaccine was developed over a shorter time period, this type of vaccine has been researched for decades. Both COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to make sure they are safe.
Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?
No, the vaccine does not contain the live virus and cannot give you COVID-19. However, you may have side effects after getting the shot that are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19. This happens because your body is building up protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Not everyone who gets vaccinated will have side effects. Side effects reported so far have not been serious. These side effects might include:
- Sore arm
- Redness at the injection site
- Muscle or body aches
- Joint pain
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
If you have side effects, they typically last one or two days and do not prevent you from working or doing any of your daily activities.
Can children get the vaccine?
At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is not offered to children under certain ages. There are clinical studies going on to find a safe vaccine for children.
- Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine: for ages 16 years or older.
- Moderna vaccine: for ages 18 years or older.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, it is recommended that everyone get vaccinated. Getting COVID-19 gives you some immunity to the virus, but the vaccine will provide more protection. If you have had COVID-19, vaccination should be delayed until you have recovered from the infection and you are no longer in isolation.
Does the vaccine affect fertility?
There is no evidence that shows the vaccine affects fertility.
Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get vaccinated?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women who are at high risk of exposure of COVID-19 have the choice to get vaccinated. It is best to discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine with your healthcare provider.
Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html