COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Whether you have taken the vaccine or not, please remain vigilant about implementing infection prevention protocols. We know these work. It will take all of us to reduce the spread in our community. Wear a mask. Socially distance. Avoid crowds. Wash your hands.

Review these commonly asked questions for more information about the vaccine.

  • How is the COVID-19 vaccine different from other vaccines I have received?
    Other vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies to trigger an immune response. The COVID-19 vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech do not work this way. Instead, it uses mRNA technology that trains our immune system to identify the COVID-19 virus. This training prepares our immune systems to immediately fight and prevent the COVID-19 virus if we are exposed. By doing this, we are able to hopefully prevent infection.
  • Does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
    The COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna has proven more than 90% effective. Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine proved 95% effective. In comparison, the 2019-2020 seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine was 45% effective in preventing laboratory confirmed influenza virus.
  • How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will I need?
    The COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna requires two shots to be effective, which are spaced 28 days apart. The Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine requires two shots to be effective, which are spaced at 21 days apart.
  • How long am I protected against COVID-19 if I get the vaccine?
    The duration of protection from COVID-19 is not yet known.
  • Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
    Many people have expressed concern about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to know that the COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as all vaccines. Independent committees comprised of scientific and clinical experts to include the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee evaluate the safety of vaccines being given to people in the United States. It is important to note that while there are no licensed vaccines using mRNA technology, this technology has been studied for decades in vaccine trials for influenza, Zika and rabies.
  • Should I wait until more people get the vaccine?
    No, clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by the FDA to determine safety and effectiveness.
  • Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
    No, one advantage of the mRNA vaccines is that they are not produced using infectious antigens. The vaccines do not contain any components of the COVID-19 virus and thus cannot give someone COVID-19.
  • If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
    Yes, the CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch 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.
  • What are the most common side effects with the COVID-19 vaccine?
    You may experience some side effects after getting the vaccine, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects with the COVID-19 vaccines, especially after the second dose, include fever, headache and sore muscles. These are similar to side effects you may experience after other adult vaccines like the flu vaccine and the shingles vaccine. Common side effects (1 in 10 people) included soreness and redness, swelling at injection site, joint pain, fever/chills, fatigue, headache, nausea, muscle pain/aches (Source:
  • How long will the side effects last?
    The side effects typically subside in a few days. If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your health care provider about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Why would a vaccine be needed if we can do other things, like social distancing and wearing masks, to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading?
    Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least six feet away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others and will still be required for those who receive the vaccine at this time. Together, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
  • What should I do if I do not see my question listed here?
    Visit the CDC’s website about the COVID-19 vaccine first to see if it is explained there. If not, call your health care provider.