Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
The COVID-19 pandemic has created some confusion in our daily lives and has made it hard to know how to keep you and your family safe. This page is here to help you and your family feel confident that you are being safe and making healthy choices.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. By the end of 2021, there had been 50 million cases and over 800,000 deaths recorded in the United States.1 Thanks to our hardworking healthcare workers, scientists, and other public health officials, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But we still have more work to do to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. Get vaccinated and save lives.
COVID-19 vaccinations are still very effective at preventing severe illness, but new data suggest that vaccination becomes less effective over time, especially in people aged 65 and older. Over time, they also become less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms.18
There are many vaccines that need booster shots, many of which you probably already got as a child. Some vaccines that need boosters include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR, and Varicella.20
If you are 12 or older and received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, you should get a booster dose at least 6 months after completing your first vaccination series (5 months after your second dose).
If you are 12 or older and received the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine, you should get a booster at least 2 months after receiving your primary dose.18
If you initially got an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), you are able to get either a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster — it can be the same one that you got for your primary series, or it can be different!18
If you initially got Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, preliminary studies show that your immune system will see a greater benefit from a booster dose of one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).19
Beginning January 15, 2022, individuals with private health insurance coverage or covered by a group health plan who purchase an over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized, cleared, or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be able to have those test costs covered by their plan or insurance. Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover 8 free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month. That means a family of four, all on the same plan, would be able to get up to 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month. Learn more, here.
Health Resources and Service Administration
About variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Test-to-Treat Initiative Ensures Rapid ‘On the Spot’ Access to Lifesaving COVID Treatments
Information on SARS-CoV-2 variant classifications and definitions.
CDC has been collaborating with global public health and industry partners to learn about Omicron, as we continue to monitor its course.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy releases a Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation to help Americans navigate the serious threat of health misinformation, especially online.
Answers to common questions about monoclonal antibody therapy.
Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis.
Vaccine progress, community risk levels, and trends updated daily.
On August 18, 2021, public health and medical experts from HHS released a statement on the Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots.
Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by keeping people who have been in with someone with COVID-19 apart from others.
Pruebas, tratamiento y vacunas gratis relacionados con el COVID-19.
Encuentre las actualizaciones más recientes de la FDA.
Informarse sobre las vacunas contra el COVID-19 es un paso importante para ayudarnos a acabar con esta pandemia.
Información en español sobre vacunas contra el COVID-19.
Recursos a nivel estatal y nacional para personas indocumentadas.
Conozca qué tipo de asistencia y beneficios ofrece el Gobierno de Estados Unidos a los afectados por la pandemia COVID-19.
Los anticuerpos monoclonales, cómo evitar que los síntomas entre leves y moderados empeoren y qué puede espera si recibe este tratamiento.
Información y recursos sobre pruebas, tratamientos, vacunas y estudios clínicos para saber cómo ayudar a poner un fin a la pandemia y protegerse a sí mismo y a su familia.
El médico-científico Enrique Caballero de Brigham and Women’s Hospital cuenta que vacunarse contra covid-19 le permitió reencontrarse con su hermana después de meses sin verla
Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you, so if anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam.
Nationwide and state-level resources for undocumented people.
You can take steps to help protect yourself or a loved one from the financial impact of the coronavirus.
Learn how to file for unemployment benefits in your state.
Enjoy a free day at KinderCare for each vaccine dose through December 31st.
Free day of childcare (6 weeks – 12 y.o.) to get vaccinated and two days if a parent needs to recover from any side effects.
Children 5 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
CDC recommends vaccination for everyone 5 years and older to help protect against COVID-19.
If you are out with COVID-19 or are caring for ill family members, check with the Department of Labor (DOL) for information on whether such leave is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The COVID-19 shots are a proven way to help us get back to normal. There are various types of shots available. Please read below to learn about making the next step to get vaccinated!
The full list of participating pharmacies is available on the CDC’s website.
There is so much information going around about COVID-19, and this makes it hard for you to know what is true and what is a myth. When we get our information from sources that are not reliable, this can lead us to be more afraid and to make choices that are not in the best interest of our own health. Let’s take a look at some of the common myths that have been going around about COVID-19 and see what the facts are!
NO. COVID-19 vaccines do not interact with DNA.6
NO. The government does not require vaccinations. However, state and local governments as well as employers may require vaccinations for specific purposes.6
NO. Current vaccines do not cause recipients to test positive on any viral tests.6
NO. None of the emergency authorized vaccines use a live virus. Some people may feel symptoms after receiving the vaccine, but these are due to your body’s response to the vaccine as it builds fighter cells called antibodies. Any sickness that you may feel is likely due to your body making fighter cells, and they are not COVID-19 symptoms.6
YES. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause any problems with pregnancy. In fact, the same number of women have been able to get pregnant after getting a COVID-19 shot when compared to women who have not had the shot at all.6
YES. Alcohol sanitizers have NOT been shown to create any relevant health issues when used properly.7
NO. Once you’ve sanitized your hands, you have disinfected them from any germs that may have been present on the bottle.
NO. Masks will not cause decreases in oxygen level.8
Covid Act Now has real-time COVID data and risk level for your community. See how your community is doing at covidactnow.org.
A variant is a strain of the virus which has changed through mutation. Sometimes new variants emerge and then disappear, and other times they persist. New variants are expected to occur.9
As of August 6, 2021, there are 4 variants of concern in the United States: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.9
Some variants, such as Delta, spread more easily and quickly than others, which could lead to an increase in cases. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.9
Currently authorized vaccines are effective against all variants of concern in the U.S. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization and death.9
NO. Viral vectors cannot cause infection with COVID-19.11
NO. Viral vector vaccines do not interact with DNA in any way.11
Johnson & Johnson
Unless you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but have no symptoms, you should still wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.12
Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19.
Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine:
If you have lost your vaccination card or don’t have a copy, contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record.
Side effects are a result of your body’s immune response in an attempt to create antibodies. Side effects are NOT due to infection of COVID-19. After the second shot, symptoms may be worse. Call your doctor if redness or tenderness of injection site after worsens after 24 hours, or if side effects are concerning and are not going away after a few days.
Side effects in the arm:
Side effects throughout the body:
After vaccination, you should apply a wet, cool compress to the injection site, move/use your arm often, drink fluids, and monitor how you are feeling.13
The CDC and U.S. FDA recommend the emergency use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot. The vaccine has resumed use in the U.S. after a temporary pause.14
Reports of adverse events following the use of J&J/Janssen vaccine suggest an increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.14
A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.14
Women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare but increased risk of this adverse event and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.14
Getting tested for COVID-19 is easy and free. Please read below for information on who should get tested and why.
The following people should get tested for COVID-19:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.
People with COVID-19 may have the following symptoms: