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Frequently Asked Questions | COVID-19 Vaccine

Is the vaccine safe and effective?

yes. All COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are licensed for emergency use or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have been extensively tested and shown to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19. After the FDA licenses a COVID-19 vaccine, many vaccine safety monitoring systems note adverse events (potential side effects). this continuous monitoring can detect adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. if an unexpected adverse event is observed, experts quickly review it to see if it is a true safety issue. Experts then decide if changes to US vaccine recommendations are needed. uu.

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millions of people in the united states have received covid-19 vaccines under the most intense security control of the united states. uu. history.

will the vaccine give me covid?

not. none of the approved vaccines are composed of materials that can cause disease. For example, the first vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA used a small, harmless part of the virus’s genetic material called ‘mRNA’. this is not the virus. MRNA vaccines teach your body to make viral proteins. your immune system develops antibodies against these proteins that will help you fight the virus that causes covid-19 if you are exposed to it. that’s called an immune response.

Are covid vaccines safe for children?

yes. Currently, the FDA has determined that the Pfizer-Biontech and Modern COVID vaccines meet the effectiveness and safety standards necessary for emergency use authorization for children 6 months and older.

Are covid-19 vaccines safe for people who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant?

yes. covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective for people who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, you should talk to your health care provider about your risk of getting covid-19 and your risk of serious illness if you get sick. A vaccine can protect you from serious illness, which could help both you and your unborn baby.

Both the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (Acip) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Acog) strongly recommend that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they do not have a medical reason not to be vaccinated.

Pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of severe illness and serious pregnancy complications.

if you get a vaccine, do you need a negative covid test beforehand?

not. the cdc does not recommend testing for covid-19 before receiving a covid-19 vaccine.

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?

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yes. vaccination against covid-19 is especially important for people with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get seriously ill from covid-19. check with your health care provider if you have specific questions about the covid vaccine and your health.

If I already had covid-19 and recovered, should I still get vaccinated?

yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had covid-19, because you can get it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.

Will the vaccine make me sick or will I have side effects?

You may not notice any change in how you feel after receiving the injection. but it is also possible to feel a little “under the weather”. this can happen after any vaccine. it is the body’s immune response to vaccination and a sign that the vaccine is beginning to work.

after the covid-19 vaccine, you may have:

• pain in the arm where you received the injection

• a headache

• chills

• fever

• tiredness

Over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers can help.

You should feel better in a day or two. if you still don’t feel well after two or three days, talk to your health care provider.

Do covid-19 vaccines work against “worrying variants” of the virus?

All covid-19 vaccines licensed or approved for emergency use in the united states have been shown to be extremely effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from covid-19. The effectiveness of FDA-approved and licensed vaccines remains robust against even the newest strains, including variants of concern.

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on august 31, 2022, the fda and acip approved a bivalent vaccine for both pfizer biontech and modern, to better protect against the omicron variant. Individuals who have completed a primary series or a booster dose in the past 2 months and are 12 years of age or older are eligible for the bivalent booster.

Those who are not vaccinated are at highest risk of severe illness, so the New York State Department of Health urges all eligible New Yorkers to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

Can I have an allergic reaction to the covid-19 vaccine?

People can have allergic reactions to any drug or biological product such as a vaccine. Most allergic reactions occur shortly after a vaccine is given, so the CDC recommends that people with a history of anaphylaxis (from any cause) be observed for 30 minutes after vaccination, while all other people be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination. all vaccination sites should be equipped to ensure that appropriate medical treatment is available in the event of an unlikely allergic reaction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone with an allergy to “any component” of the vaccine not get vaccinated.

is it better to get natural immunity to covid-19 instead of immunity from a vaccine?

not. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts. vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

How long will immunity from the vaccine last?

Researchers do not yet know how long immunity lasts after vaccination. That’s why it will continue to be important to continue prevention practices such as wearing a mask, regular hand washing, and social distancing.

I tested positive for covid antibodies. Do I still need the vaccine?

yes. The cdc recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had covid-19, because you can get it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

Should I get an antibody test after getting vaccinated against covid-19?

not.

On May 19, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety advisory to the public that results of COVID-19 antibody tests should not be used to measure the level of protection against covid-19 at any time, especially after covid-19 vaccination. currently licensed sars-cov-2 antibody tests are not approved to measure immunity or protection against covid-19 infection.

Although some laboratories offer tests for antibodies against covid-19, these tests are designed to measure immunity against infection, but not against vaccination. commercially available covid-19 antibody tests look for antibodies that are different from those produced by current vaccines, so you won’t get a true picture of your protection.

The CDC recommends that individuals who have received only 1 dose of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series complete the series regardless of antibody test results. Similarly, people who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines do not need any additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine due to negative or low antibody test results.

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