New information is coming in every day about the COVID-19 vaccine. We know you have a lot of questions. Here is what we know right now.
Q. How many COVID-19 vaccines are there?
A. There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States from three different manufacturers: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. There are differences between them, but all have been found to be highly effective against death and severe illness from COVID-19.
Q. Could I get COVID-19 from getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
A. No, you will not get COVID-19 as the result of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine does not contain “live” virus, so there is no risk of developing COVID-19 from getting the vaccine.
Q. Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding?
A. Experts believe that the vaccine is unlikely to pose a risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women or their babies. We encourage you to talk to your personal healthcare provider to determine if you are a good candidate for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Q. Is the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for children?
A. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been deemed safe for children age 16 and older and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those age 18 and older. Currently research is being conducted to understand if the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children younger than age 16.
Q. Is it safe for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?
A. Yes, you can get the vaccine if you have had COVID-19. There are no known risks to receiving the vaccine after natural infection. The immunity from natural infection is not long lasting.
Q. How long will it be before the general public can get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A. This will greatly depend on how quickly manufacturers can produce the vaccine and on local guidelines. Vaccine production is ramping up and more vaccine is becoming available.
Q. What is the best way to protect myself and my family until we can get a COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Take these simple steps to reduce your risk: wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from people who aren’t household members, avoid crowds, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, and don’t touch your nose, mouth, or eyes when out in public.
Q. Can we stop wearing masks after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. No. Masking and social distancing must continue and here’s why:
- The vaccine takes time to provide protection.
- While all three vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death, they have not been shown to be 100 percent effective at preventing people from getting COVID-19.
- Additionally, experts are still studying whether or not the vaccine will prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others, even if you are not showing or having any symptoms.
- Experts are still looking into just how long immunity lasts once someone has been vaccinated.