- Types of COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
- COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
- COVID-19 Vaccine Common Myths & Truths
- After Being Fully Vaccinated
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people aged 12 years and older.
- Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection.
- Type of Vaccine: mRNA.
- Number of Shots: 2 shots given 21 days apart.
- How the Shot is Given: in the muscle of the upper arm.
- For more information on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, click here.
- COVID-19 Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients
- The Moderna vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older.
- Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected.
- Type of Vaccine: mRNA.
- Number of Shots: 2 shots given one month (usually 28 days) apart.
- How the Shot is Given: in the muscle of the upper arm.
- For more information on the Moderna vaccine, click here.
- COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen:
- The J&J/Janssen vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older.
- The J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials (efficacy) at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of prior infection 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. People had the most protection 2 weeks after getting vaccinated.
This information has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on the different types of COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may be an inconvenience and may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Everyone's vaccination experience is different and some people have no side effects. Note: Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot.
Common Side Effects:
To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot:
To reduce discomfort from a fever:
When to Call the Doctor:
V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers to the web surveys, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.
This information has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
Q: Is there a cost associated with getting the COVID-19 vaccine? A: No. All COVID-19 vaccines are free. However, health care providers can charge an administration fee to insurance companies for giving the vaccine to someone. This means that you might be asked for your insurance information when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have insurance, you should provide that information when you get your vaccine. The administration fee helps cover costs of staffing, space, printing, extra supplies, and more. You can still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you do not have insurance. No one should receive a bill for the vaccine or administration fee. If you get a bill, call the place where you got your vaccine and let them know you should not have to pay.
Q: If I've recovered from COVID-19, do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccination? A: Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Research is still being done to learn more about how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.
Q: If I've been treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? A: You should wait 90 days before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine after getting these types of treatment.
Q: What are the most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? A: After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal and healthy signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. Each person has a unique experience and while some can be an inconvenience, COVID-19 can be a serious illness with long term effects.
Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick (or contagious) with COVID-19? A: No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Q: Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA? A: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different, harmless virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells to start building protection. The instructions are delivered in the form of genetic material. This material does not integrate into a person’s DNA.
Q: Can I choose which COVID-19 vaccine I receive? A: You should get any COVID-19 vaccine that is available when you are eligible. Do not wait for a specific brand. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend one vaccine over another.
Q: Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day? A: Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
Q: After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test? A: No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. Neither can any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States. If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
Q: Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have gotten 2 doses of the vaccine? A: It depends. For now, fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without physical distancing or wearing masks with:
- Other people who are fully vaccinated
- Unvaccinated people from one other household, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Until more is known, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people in other settings, like when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households. For more information about being fully vaccinated, click here.
Q: When am I considered to be "fully vaccinated?" A: People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
This information has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
Claim: The vaccines were rushed, so they are not safe. Truth: COVID-19 closely resembles other coronaviruses that researchers and vaccine makers have studied for many years. Operation Warp Speed helped to expedite the vaccine process by offering money and resources while still following all steps for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. This included large clinical trials to meet safety standards with participants from different ages, races, ethnicities, and medical conditions. Because the disease was so widespread, it was easier to enroll the number of people needed for these studies. The bar for ensuring vaccine safety is set very high. The COVID-19 vaccines met all safety standards for FDA authorization and will be continually monitored. They would not have been approved if they were not safe and effective.
Claim: The COVID-19 vaccines contain aborted fetal cells. Truth: For the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, no fetal cell lines were used to produce or manufacture the vaccine, and they are not inside the injection you receive. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine did use fetal cell cultures (which are not the same as fetal tissue) during the manufacturing process. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain any aborted fetal cells. Bishop Kettler addresses moral questions surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.
Claim: I can still get COVID-19 even after getting the vaccine. Truth: It typically takes two weeks for the body to build immunity after completing the vaccination course. That means it's possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. The COVID-19 vaccine does not protect against 100% of infections, but these vaccines help keep 90% of people from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. The vaccine does not kill or destroy the virus if you are exposed. It simply trains your body to successfully fight off the virus so you do not get sick.
Claim: The vaccines can cause infertility. Truth: There is absolutely no evidence that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) shares evidence from the clinical trials for the first two COVID-19 vaccines.
Claim: No large studies have been done on the vaccines. Truth: The Pfizer trial included more than 43,000 participants, the Moderna more than 39,000 participants, and the Janssen over 43,000 participants. With vaccines, most negative effects occur within six weeks of receiving a vaccine, which is why the FDA asked the companies to provide eight weeks of safety data after the last dose. We also now have even more data as nearly 40 million people have been fully vaccinated with one of the available vaccines in the U.S.
Claim: No one knows what the effects will be from the vaccine in the next months or years! Truth: The COVID-19 vaccine will prime your immune system to fight COVID-19. After your cells learn how to fight COVID-19, the cells get rid of it. It will no longer be in your body. Just as it is important to think about the long-term effects of the vaccine, it is also important to consider long-term effects of COVID-19 itself. While true long-term data is lacking, we are starting to learn about COVID-19 “long-haulers,” those who experience issues months beyond their initial recovery. Chronic symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, and chest pain. Imaging tests taken months after recovery have shown damage to the heart muscle, even in people who experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms. This may increase the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future. COVID-19 has now killed over 530,000 Americans and over 2,600,000 around the world and these are the lives lost and the reason why vaccination is important.
Claim: This vaccine was never tested on animals (lab rats) to know short or long-term effects? Truth: This is false. Due to the urgent need for a vaccine in a surging pandemic, Pfizer and Moderna were given approval to simultaneously test their vaccines on animals while they were conducting Phase 1 trials on humans. The vaccines were tested on mice and macaque monkeys.
This information has been provided by CentraCare Health. For more information on common COVID-19 vaccine myths and the truths behind these myths, click here.
If you are fully vaccinated you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity. Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can participate in some indoor events safely, without much risk.
What You Can Start to Do
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks or staying 6 feet apart, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.
- If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
- You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
- You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
- You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
- You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
- You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
- However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
What You Should Keep Doing
For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:
- You should still avoid indoor large gatherings.
- If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
- You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
- You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.
- You should still protect yourself and others in many situations by wearing a mask that fits snugly against the sides of your face and doesn’t have gaps. Take this precaution whenever you are:
- In indoor public settings
- Gathering indoors with unvaccinated people (including children) from more than one other household
- Visiting indoors with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk
This information has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on being fully vaccinated, click here.