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Deciding to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine


It's important to know the facts about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine facts
If you get the vaccine If you're not sure about getting the vaccine
What are the benefits?
  • The vaccine protects you from getting COVID-19. And if you do get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, you're much less likely to get seriously ill.
  • Getting vaccinated will help protect others around you from getting the virus, including people who are more likely to get very sick or die from COVID-19. If you get the virus, you could spread it to friends, family, and people in your community who are at high risk. This can happen even if you don't have symptoms. So getting vaccinated can help save lives.
  • When more people get vaccinated, the disease is less likely to spread. This will help the pandemic end sooner, so things can return to normal. That means being able to safely go out and see friends and family, meet new people, and do all the activities you enjoy. And it means helping your community thrive.
  • When you're fully vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask when you are around other fully vaccinated people. And you don't need one around unvaccinated people who are all from one other household, as long as no one in that household is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Without the vaccine, you won't be protected from getting the virus. You'll be at higher risk for getting very sick or even dying.
  • Without the vaccine, you won't be keeping others safe and helping your community end the pandemic.
  • Without the vaccine, you will have to wear a mask around other people, even close friends and family members who don't live with you.
What are the side effects and risks?
  • You may have some side effects after getting the vaccine. This is normal. It means that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
  • Side effects may include a fever, soreness, and feeling very tired.
  • The risk of serious problems is very low. Serious allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare. And they can be treated if they do happen. After you get vaccinated, you will be watched closely for any problems.
  • If you don't get the vaccine, you'll be at much higher risk for getting COVID-19.
  • For most people, symptoms of COVID-19 are much worse than side effects from the vaccine.
  • The benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the potential risks.
How safe will I be?
  • The vaccine is safe and effective. It's been given to millions of people. Scientists made sure the vaccine was tested for many people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, and people with different health issues.
  • You cannot get COVID-19 by getting the vaccine.
  • Without protection from the vaccine, you'll be less safe and your risk of getting COVID-19 will stay high.
What are the long-term effects?
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is new, but it is expected to be just as safe over time as other vaccines.
  • You won't be protected from getting COVID-19, as long as the infection is still spreading in the community. COVID-19 can cause very serious illness and lead to long-term health problems.


Current as of: March 26, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine

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