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Benefits of Getting Vaccinated

What You Need to Know

There are many benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are safe and are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.

  • Getting children and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 can help keep them from getting very sick if they do get COVID-19.

  • Vaccinating children can also help relieve the strain on families by providing greater confidence in children participating in childcare, school, and other activities.

  • COVID-19 vaccines can offer added protection to people who had COVID-19, including protection against being hospitalized from a new infection, especially as variants continue to emerge.

  • As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date with the recommended number of doses and boosters, when eligible.

A Safer, More Reliable Way to Build Protection

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience potentially severe illness or post-COVID conditions.

Getting Sick

  • Getting sick with COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death, even in children, and we can’t reliably predict who will have mild or severe illness.

  • You may have long-term health issues after having COVID-19. Even people who do not have symptoms when they are first infected can have these ongoing health problems, also known as long COVID or post-COVID conditions.

  • These complications can appear after mild or severe COVID-19, or after multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Symptoms associated with COVID-19 vaccination vs infection

Symptoms Post COVID-19 Vaccination

Symptoms Post COVID-19 Infection

  • Cough

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Headache

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Limitations in physical activity

  • Feeling distressed about symptoms

  • Mental health challenges

  • Decreased school or daycare attendance

  • Missed opportunities for participation in sports, playdates, or other activities

Protection from COVID-19

While people can get some protection from having COVID-19, the level and length of that protection varies, especially as COVID-19 variants continue to emerge.

  • Immunity (protection) from infection can vary depending on how mild or severe someone’s illness was and their age.

  • Immunity from infection decreases over time.

Importantly, there is still no antibody test available that can reliably determine if a person is protected from further infection.

About Variants

Many viruses are constantly changing, including the virus that causes COVID-19. These changes occur over time and can lead to the emergence of variants that may have new characteristics, including different ways of spreading.

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