As rollout for the COVID-19 vaccines continues to ramp up in the United States, accurate vaccine information is critical. The following information is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding frequently asked questions about the various COVID-19 vaccines currently available.
What are the most common side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
After getting vaccinated, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Some side effects you may experience are:
- pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot (most common)
These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
How long does protection for a COVID-19 vaccine last?
We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I am fully vaccinated?
Yes. Until we know more about how these vaccines work in real-world conditions, you should continue to follow these recommendations to protect yourself and others:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Avoid crowds.
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
- Wash your hands often.
We don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. The CDC will continue to update their recommendations as we learn more.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
What are the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines?
The ingredients in currently available COVID-19 vaccines include mRNA, lipids, salts, sugars, and buffers. Buffers help maintain the stability of the pH solution. Vaccine ingredients can vary by manufacturer.
Can I get vaccinated against COVID-19 while I am currently sick with COVID-19?
No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. Those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problem with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the CDC website. If you have specific questions about getting vaccinated, talking with your healthcare provider can help you make an informed decision.