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Get the Facts

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines

Q: Which of the three FDA-authorized vaccines is recommended?

A: As of Dec. 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed a preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. For more information about the concerns, click here.

Q: Will getting a vaccine give me COVID-19?

A: No. The approved/authorized vaccines in the United States do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. That means the COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with the virus. (Source: CDC)


Q: Can getting the vaccine make me test positive for COVID-19?


A: No. COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on a viral test. You could test positive on an antibody test. These tests look to see if your body has developed an immune response – which is a good thing! Antibody tests show whether you have protection against the virus, whether from being exposed to the actual virus, recovering from the virus or being vaccinated. (Source: CDC)


Q: How do I know which COVID-19 vaccine information sources are accurate?


A: Accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.


Q: If I have already had COVID-19, do I even need to get the vaccine?


A: Yes. It is recommended that those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine get vaccinated, even if they have already had the virus. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19, but we do know that you can get the virus a second time, or more. (Source: CDC)


Q: Do the COVID-19 vaccines even work?


A: Yes. All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. are effective at preventing COVID-19. These vaccines help protect people who are vaccinated from getting severely ill, being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. (Source: CDC)


Q: Are the vaccines safe even though they were developed so fast?


A: Yes. Millions of people in the U.S. have received COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccines have gone through, and continue to go through, the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Decades of research have gone into viral vaccines, and that knowledge was applied to the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. While COVID-19 vaccines were developed fast, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness. (Source: CDC)


Q: Can COVID-19 vaccines cause variants?


A: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several variants of the virus. Looking ahead, variants are expected to continue to emerge as the virus continues to change. COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging. As it spreads, the virus has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging. CDC recommends that everyone 12 years of age and older get vaccinated as soon as possible. (Source: CDC)


Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause reproductive problems?


A: No. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. (Source: CDC)


Q: Can COVID-19 vaccines genetically modify humans?


A: No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, meaning the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that uses a modified version of a different, harmless virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells to start building protection. The instructions are delivered in the form of genetic material but do not integrate into a person’s DNA. (Source: CDC)


Find more facts about the COVID-19 vaccines on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

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