Covid-19 and Vaccine Information
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, COVID-19 vaccines have now been approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11. In fact, the CDC recommends children get vaccinated.
No, you do not. COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to everyone age 5 and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
The COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe and effective. All three vaccines have been closely studied by researchers for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. In fact, vaccines, treatments, and medical devices all go through careful and strict testing in a lab before being tested in humans. See the FDA’s page on its regulatory process for more info.
Getting vaccinated can:
- prevent you from getting COVID-19 or, if you get it, from becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.
- prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, including loved ones or those who are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
- help your community reach the goal of “herd” immunity. This means most people in a community have protection against the virus. Herd immunity helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- prevent more variants or mutant strains of COVID-19 from developing by curbing the spread of the disease faster.
See the CDC’s page on vaccine benefits for more info.
More than 4 out of 5 U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine which means that the vaccines have been safely delivered to more than 235 million people in the United States!
More Asians are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 than any other racial group in the US. According to federal data, as of November 15, 2021, 72.4% of Asians have gotten vaccinated in the country, compared to 56.3% of White people.
While mild reactions to the vaccine may occur, such as muscle pain and nausea, serious side effects that cause long term health effects are extremely unlikely. See the CDC’s page on side effects for more info.
People who are pregnant have a higher risk of having worse COVID-19 symptoms than people who are not pregnant. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended.
It’s important for adults of any age who have certain underlying medical conditions to get the COVID-19 vaccine because they are at increased risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. You should tell your vaccine provider about any preexisting medical conditions and allergies you may have. See the CDC’s page about underlying medical conditions for more info.
Yes, they should. Adults ages 65+ are at highest risk, with adults ages 85+ at the greatest risk. More than 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in people over age 65. Getting vaccinated greatly reduces this risk.
Like all other approved vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines are only tested in people if they are deemed safe, starting with about 20 to 100 volunteers. Testing then expands to thousands of people before data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine is reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for possible Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval. See the NIH’s page on clinical trials for more details.
Like other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines will prevent infection in most cases. While some vaccinated people may still get COVID-19, their symptoms will be much milder and they will be much less likely to get seriously ill, compared to people who are unvaccinated. Studies have also shown that being vaccinated still offers higher protection than previous COVID-19 infections.
Booster shots are intended to “boost” the immune response that may have weakened over time. A booster shot is an extra dose that helps keep up protection. The timing after the first series depends on the type of vaccine you are getting. See the CDC’s page on booster shots for more info.
You may choose whichever COVID-19 vaccine you want (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) to receive as a booster shot. Your booster doesn’t have to be the same vaccine you received before. Click here for more info on booster shots.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate yourself (be alone/stay away from other people) and use precautions (social distancing, wearing a face mask, washing your hands often, etc.) for at least 5 days after your COVID-19 symptoms start. End isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving. If you are severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days. Continue to take precautions through Day 10, including wearing your mask, avoiding those who are high-risk, and avoid travel.
Before you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait until you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, have isolated yourself for 10 days, and have not had a fever for 24 hours. After you complete 10 days of isolation and have not had a fever for 24 hours, research has shown that it is safe for people who have had COVID-19 to get the vaccine.
You should get the vaccine even if you have already had COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it’s possible that you could catch COVID-19 again. People who become infected with COVID-19 respond to the virus differently. Therefore, if you become infected with COVID-19, your body may not have built enough of an immune response to protect against future infection. The vaccine will help ensure that your body makes enough antibodies against the COVID-19 virus and helps prevent you from being infected again in the future. The COVID-19 vaccine gives your body a better chance to build the immunity that it needs to fight the virus.
There are two kinds of tests available for COVID-19:
- A viral test tells you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Molecular and antigen tests are types of viral tests. Viral tests are also called diagnostic tests.
- An antibody test tells you if you previously had an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This type of test is also called a serological test.
- Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
- Completely cover your nose, mouth, and chin.
- Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps.
- Ages 2+ who are not up to date with COVID vaccines must wear a mask indoors in public
- You do not need to wear a mask outdoors, but some people will choose to for their own safety and the safety of others
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.