Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
NOTICE: FDA has granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) COVID-19 Vaccine. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting on Monday, August 30, 2021, to discuss its updated recommendation for this vaccine.
What You Need to Know
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating, including the Delta variant.
If you are fully vaccinated you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic, but you should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission to maximize protection from the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others.
You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
Learn how to find a COVID-19 vaccine so you can get it as soon as you can.
What We Are Still Learning
How well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take medicines that suppress the immune system
How long COVID-19 vaccines protect people
How many people have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the population can be considered protected (population immunity)
How effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19
Availability of Vaccines
What we know
Vaccines are widely accessible in the United States. Everyone aged 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. Vaccines are widely accessible in the United States and are available for everyone at no cost. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines get to you. Many doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics offer COVID-19 vaccinations. Parents, check with your child’s healthcare provider about whether they offer COVID-19 vaccination.
Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
Cost of Vaccines
Fast, Easy, Free, and Nearby COVID-19 Vaccination The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. COVID-19 Vaccines Are Free
What we know
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to build protection. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.
What we are still learning
We are still learning how well COVID-19 vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take medicines that suppress the immune system. We’re also still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines protect people. If you have a medical condition or are taking medicines that weaken your immune system, you should talk to your healthcare provider. You may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19 disease.