COVID-19 FAQs: Vaccine Information

General COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines currently prevent millions of deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles and influenza. Vaccines work by training and preparing the body’s natural defenses -- the immune system---to recognize and fight off the viruses and bacteria they target. If the body is exposed to those disease-causing germs later, the body is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing illness. Vaccines are also critical to the prevention and control of infectious disease outbreaks.

Is a COVID-19 vaccine necessary?

Yes. COVID-19 (caused by SARS-CoV-2) can be a mild illness in some or lead to severe disease or even death in both immunocompromised as well as in previously healthy people. Now, there are approved’AND recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19. Learn more about things you need to know about the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program and general information about COVID-19 vaccines.

What are the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19?

COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you healthy from COVID-19, build immunity safely, and work to stem or even stop the pandemic if enough of the population becomes immunized.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Pharmacies, doctor’s offices, Urgent Care centers.


Vaccine for Patients Who Have Had COVID

I’ve had COVID or tested positive for antibodies. Do I still benefit from the vaccine?

Yes, the CDC recommends that even if you have had COVID or tested positive for antibodies, you should still receive the vaccine. This is because re-infection is possible and because of the severe health risks associated with COVID-19.

Patients with a recent positive COVID-19 test who HAVE NOT received any antibody therapy (either mAb therapy or convalescent plasma) are eligible for vaccination 10 days after initial COVID-19 test AND if all symptoms are resolved.

I’ve had COVID and I received infusion therapy to reduce my symptoms. Should I get the vaccine?

Patients with a recent positive COVID-19 test who HAVE received antibody therapy (either mAb – monoclonal antibodies - or convalescent plasma) are eligible for vaccination 90 days after receiving their mAb or convalescent plasma dose.


Vaccine Safety and Efficacy

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. A thorough safety review is the cornerstone of the FDA’s EUA process. Career vaccine scientists conduct this review, just as they do for all other FDA safety reviews. For more information, visit the CDC’s Safety of COVID-19 vaccines and CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ’s.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective?

Yes. Learn more about how well vaccines work in clinical trials, and how the nation’s vaccine experts will continue to study effectiveness in the real world here.

Who should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC recommends that you should not get the COVID-19 vaccine if you:

  • Have a fever greater than 100, or are not recovered from a moderate to severe illness.
  • Previously experienced a severe allergic reaction, (e.g. Anaphylaxis) or requiring hospitalization, or experiencing hives, swelling, respiratory distress including wheezing, to one of the following:
    • A component of the COVID-19 vaccine including polyethylene glycol (peg) was found in some laxatives and preparations for colonoscopy (note – diarrhea is not an allergic reaction to these substances).
    • Polysorbate (note – diarrhea is not an allergic reaction to this substance).
    • A previous dose of covid-19 vaccine.
  • Are currently diagnosed with covid-19 and it has been less than 10 days since diagnosis and/or you are still experiencing symptoms.
  • Have received passive antibody therapy (iv monoclonal antibodies or iv convalescent serum) as treatment for covid-19 in the past 90 days.
  • For consideration: If you suffered a very rare episode of myocarditis following any dose of the COVID vaccine, discuss with your doctor regarding whether additional doses are warranted.


Can I contract COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No, you cannot contract COVID-19 from the vaccine. However, some of the side effects are similar to the symptoms of COVID.

What are the potential side effects of the vaccine?

Side effects from COVID-19 vaccination are normal and indicate that you are building protection. Most of the side effects go away quickly. Learn more about what side effects to expect and what to do about them if you experience them.

Common side effects for both vaccines include fever, fatigue, headache, chills and muscle and/or joint aches and pain in addition to redness and swelling at the vaccination site. And, these side effects have been more frequent with the second dose. Data also reveals that side effects were less frequent in those over the age of 65.


Vaccine Considerations in Special Populations

Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for immunocompromised patients?

Immunocompromising conditions increase the risk of severe disease. Therefore, the Covid vaccines are recommended for this group and may require a 3rd dose to consider the primary series as being complete. Check with your doctor.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for pregnant women?

Yes, it is critical for all women to consider the COVID vaccine. Women trying for pregnancy now or contemplating pregnancy in the future should not hesitate to be vaccinated, as there is no apparent impact on conception or long-term fertility. Pregnant women can discuss risks and benefits with their OB physician and make the best decision for their own personal situations, but the leading women’s health and pregnancy care organizations, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), encourage the COVID vaccine be available for all who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

For additional information:


Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for breastfeeding women?

Current data reveals that COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women are safe. mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines and are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. If you are breastfeeding you may choose to be vaccinated. A discussion with your doctor can help you make an informed decision.

Can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The FDA approved the updated mRNA vaccines for adolescents and teenagers ages 12 and older and authorized them for use in children ages 6 months through 11 years. The Novavax vaccine is approved for ages 12 and older. Visit for more information.

Where can I go for more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Please see:


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