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 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
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.
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.