It is possible to have an allergic reaction to any vaccine or medication including the COVID-19 vaccine. Serious allergic reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine are very rare but talk to your doctor before getting your vaccine if you have a history of severe allergic reactions.
Vaccination against COVID-19 will help to reduce the number of people sick with COVID-19, and it could help reduce the severity of illness even if people still get sick. Vaccination against COVID-19 will also help to reduce hospitalizations and death from the virus. If enough people become vaccinated against COVID-19, it will make it easier and safer for businesses and schools to stay open.
No, none of the vaccines that have been released or that are in development contain the virus that causes COVID-19. Many vaccines can cause a mild fever, tiredness and body or muscle aches but this is not the same as getting the virus. These symptoms are a sign that the vaccine has caused the immune response important for protection against disease.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require 2 shots several weeks apart, while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.
No, the main tests used for determining if a person is currently infected like the nose or mouth swab test will not become positive if you get the vaccine. A vaccinated person might test positive for antibodies. When antibodies to COVID-19 are found, it’s a sign that your body’s immune response to the vaccine worked and that you may have protection against COVID-19.
Yes. Until we know more about the level of protection from vaccines in real-world situations, facial coverings and social distancing will continue to be very important to prevent spread of the virus. Also, while the two current vaccines are very effective, no vaccine can protect 100% of people. Some people who get the vaccine will not generate an immune response so it will be important to continue wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing until we reach herd immunity from widespread vaccination.
No, the vaccines should be covered by public and private health insurance. For people without health insurance there will be no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Most importantly, cover your face and mouth with a face covering whenever you’re around other people. This helps prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Always practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet from others when not in your own home and avoid people who are sick if you can. It’s also important to wash your hands frequently, particularly when you’re returning home after being out for essential activities like grocery shopping.
Yes! Both COVID-19 and the virus that causes flu will be spreading this winter. The Flu shot only protects you from the flu but it’s important to get your vaccine to avoid getting both COVID-19 and flu at the same time. Also, protecting against flu will help keep our hospitals more open to help people with COVID-19 as it spreads through the winter. The flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine may have to be given a few weeks apart so talk to your doctor about the timing of your flu vaccine.
On April 23, a CDC panel recommended that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be lifted. The panel also recommended that a warning label be added to the vaccine packaging noting the very rare blood clotting disorder risk. Based on the panel’s recommendation, the FDA ended the pause; states and local jurisdictions can now resume use of the J&J vaccine.
The CDC and FDA will provide monitoring and treatment information to health care providers and vaccine recipients.
Added April 24, 2021
The identification of what is approximately a less than 2-in-a-million risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a sign that the nation’s safety monitoring system for COVID vaccines is working. After any vaccine is successful in clinical trials and approved for use, the FDA continues to monitor it for safety. The pause in the use of the J&J vaccine allowed scientists to evaluate each incidence of the clotting disorder. They determined that the level of risk was very low and that the benefits of continued use of the J&J vaccine greatly outweighed any risk associated with it.
Added April 24, 2021
The 10-day pause gave health officials time to review additional data to better understand the degree of risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine related to a blood clotting disorder. It also gave federal agencies and the medical community time to determine and share information on the most appropriate treatment response. During that time, nine additional cases of the clotting disorder were identified, bringing the total number of known cases to 15 (among the nearly 7 million people who received the vaccine).
The decision to lift the pause is based on the experts’ determination that the benefits of again administering the vaccine greatly outweigh the very small degree of risk associated with its use, particularly now that the risk and treatment protocols are better understood. The risk of blood clotting is much higher for people who contract COVID than it is for people who receive the J&J vaccine.
Added April 24, 2021
The likelihood of the blood clotting disorder resulting from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare. The risk varies by age and gender. There have been fewer than 1 case per million for men and for women who are 50 years or older; the risk is estimated to be about 7 cases per million for women age 18 to 49. If you have questions about the J&J vaccine or other vaccines, talk to your doctor.