facts about the vaccine

empowering you with the facts about the vaccines and the fight against COVID-19

There’s a lot of information floating around about the COVID-19 vaccines, so we wanted to empower you with the FACTS about the vaccines and the fight against COVID-19.

Why should I get vaccinated?

Vaccines are a powerful and important tool in the fight against COVID-19. They protect you, your family, and your community. The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization. But they don’t just protect you – they can protect your family and your community. Getting vaccinated helps protect people around you, particularly those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, like the elderly, young children, or people who have other illnesses.

Is the vaccine safe?

Yes. The science behind these vaccines has been researched for years. The vaccines were tested on thousands of people and found to be safe and to protect people from getting COVID-19.

Do the vaccines work?

Currently, there are three authorized COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Jansen). All are highly effective at preventing COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. All vaccines were tested in tens of thousands of adults from diverse backgrounds, including communities of color. All vaccines were tested in people with other conditions like obesity, diabetes, lung and heart conditions, which showed that the vaccines are safe and effective in people with these medical conditions.

What about the new variants?

When viruses spread, they make copies of themselves. Sometimes these copies contain random differences, which are called new variants of the virus. Sometimes these differences change how the virus acts, like how easily the virus spreads to other people, or how well the virus can avoid your body’s immune response as you are trying to fight the virus. Current data suggest that all three authorized vaccines recognize the variants currently spreading in the United States and should continue to protect us from getting seriously ill and needing to be hospitalized.

When people get vaccinated for COVID-19, the virus doesn’t spread as quickly and there is a lower chance of new variants popping up. Vaccination is our best tool to stop new variants from appearing in the first place and then spreading.

Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

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 COVID-19 infection.​

When your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal to protect you, you may test positive on some antibody tests for the virus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of our cells, which is where our DNA is kept.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain live Coronavirus. This means that a Covid-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as pain at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle or joint aches, or fever. These symptoms are normal, not dangerous, and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. These symptoms usually last a day or 2 and can be treated with Tylenol or medications like Motrin.

Can pregnant women or people breast-feeding get the vaccines?

Yes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that pregnant women or people who are breastfeeding may choose to get vaccinated. They may want to have a discussion with their health care providers before making their decision to be vaccinated.

Should I get the vaccine if I had COVID-19?

Yes, you should be vaccinated if you already had COVID-19 infection. Experts don’t yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after COVID-19 infection. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it’s possible that you could be re-infected with Coronavirus. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Can people with allergies get the vaccine?

The majority of people with allergies – including people with severe allergies to foods, pets, bee stings, latex, and oral medications – can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have had an allergic reaction to any ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine or injectable medicines, talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated.