Q: How does it work?
A: Covid-19 vaccines are designed to teach your body to recognize and fight the virus, which protects you from getting sick.
Q: What are the side effects?
A: The possible side effects are typically pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects tend to only last a few days.
Q: How long does it last?
A: While experts still aren’t sure how long vaccinated individuals are protected against the virus, we do know that the Covid-19 virus can be spread easily and has caused serious illness and death for many, and getting the vaccine helps to prevent the spread of the virus.
Q: What is in the vaccine?
A: Once vaccinated, you should be given a card or printout that tells you which vaccine you received, the date administered, and the location you received your vaccine. Each vaccine has its own facts sheet and ingredients list. Get more details at the links below:
Q: How many shots will I need?
A: Most Covid-19 vaccines require two shots, three to four weeks apart, for them to be effective.
Q: If I am infected with Covid-19, can I get the vaccine?
A: If you have Covid-19, and are having symptoms, you should wait to be vaccinated until you are fully recovered and have met the criteria for discontinuing quarantine. If you no longer have symptoms you should still wait until you meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. You can view the CDC criteria for discontinuing quarantine here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html
Q: If I had Covid-19 in the past and have recovered, do I still need the vaccine?
A: If you have already had Covid-19, and meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine, you should be vaccinated. Since experts are unsure how long someone is protected from reinfection after recovering from Covid-19, it is rare but possible, to be re-infected with the virus. If you were infected with the virus and received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the CDC recommends waiting 90 days before getting your Covid-19 vaccine.
Q: Will the vaccine give me the virus?
A: No. A Covid-19 vaccine will not make you sick with the virus. None of the authorized vaccines contain the live virus, which means they cannot make you sick with Covid-19. Receiving a Covid-19 vaccine will not cause you to test positive on a viral test. However, the goal of the Covid-19 vaccination is for your body to develop an immune response, which may result in positive results on some anti-bodies tests.
Q: Who pays?
A: The Covid-19 vaccine is provided at no cost to anyone living in the United States. You cannot be denied a vaccine if you are unable to pay. If you are insured, providers can be reimbursed for vaccine administration fees by your insurer. If you are not insured, the cost will be covered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Q: Can I get the vaccine if I am planning to become pregnant, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
A: Yes. You can receive the vaccine if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant. Being vaccinated for Covid-19 is unlikely to pose a risk to those trying to become pregnant now or in the future. Currently, there are no indicators that the vaccine or antibodies developed from the vaccine cause problems with fertility or pregnancy.
Q: Can I get the vaccine if I have an underlying condition?
A: People with underlying conditions can get the FDA-authorized vaccine if they have not had any allergic reactions to any of the ingredients contained in the vaccine or the vaccine itself. However, there is some information you should be aware of and, of course, you should always consult with your doctor. You can learn more about the vaccine and underlying conditions here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/underlying-conditions.html
Q: Once I am vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?
A: Even after you receive the vaccine, it is still important to wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, poorly ventilated areas, and wash your hands. Experts are still learning how Covid-19 vaccinations work in real-world situations and to have a measure of how many people get the virus and how the virus is spreading in communities. Also, it is unknown if getting the vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes Covid-19 to others.
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