Vaccines are free and widely available.
- Everyone in the United States ages 6 months and older is eligible to receive free COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of immigration status. You don’t need health insurance to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Vaccines are widely available at more than 80,000 locations across the country, including at over 40,000 retail pharmacies. Ninety percent of Americans live within five miles of a vaccine site.
- Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
- In order to protect yourself and prevent the spread, it’s important that you get vaccinated and boosted at your earliest opportunity.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and they work.
- There are multiple COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means the clinical evidence for the vaccines have met the agency's rigorous scientific standards and are considered to be safe and effective. They have been studied in clinical trials with large and diverse groups of people, of various ages, races and ethnicities.
- The FDA has given full approval to both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for adults ages 16 and older. Full FDA approval takes longer than Emergency Use Authorization because more data needs to be processed and reviewed over a longer period of time. When a product is fully approved by the FDA, patients can be assured that its recommendation is grounded in large amounts of scientific data.
While all the COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective, adults who still have concerns about the cutting-edge science of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have a new option based on old technology: the Novavax vaccine. It works on the same, well-established process that vaccines have used for 30 years. It uses harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus to trigger a response from your immune system when it recognizes those proteins again if you’re infected by the virus. That method of priming your immune system also results in fewer side effects after vaccination.
- Vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get sick or put yourself and others at risk of severe illness and death.
- Getting vaccinated is a much safer way to build protection than getting the disease. COVID-19 can have serious, long-term or life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get infected, you could spread the disease to friends, family and others around you.
- You may have some side effects after getting vaccinated. That’s a normal sign that your body is building protection—and they should go away within a few days. Your arm may be sore or swollen. You may also feel tired, have a headache, fever, or chills. This does not mean you have COVID-19—in fact, it’s not possible to get COVID-19 from vaccines.
- Vaccines are being administered by trained health professionals. Some people might be offered a vaccine that requires two doses, given several weeks apart, while other people might be offered a single-dose vaccine. It may take several weeks after vaccination for your body to be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
Vaccinations work best when we keep them up to date.
- We get the strongest protection when we keep our vaccinations up to date with a booster shot, which is recommended for all adults and children 6 months and older. The vaccines are still highly effective at preventing serious illness, but boosters restore the protection, even against mild cases, that wanes over time.
- A booster dose is available five months after receiving a second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, and two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As of September 1, 2022, the CDC now recommends that all adults and children 6 months and older receive the updated COVID-19 booster shot that has been specially designed to strengthen immunity against the newer Omicron subvariants.
The new booster restores the protection of vaccines, even against mild cases, that wanes over time. It is our best protection against COVID-19.
People who have recently been infected with COVID-19 may wait 3 months from the time they were infected before getting a vaccine (if they are unvaccinated) or a booster.
- Now is the time to get the updated booster. If you are vaccinated, but haven’t already received the updated booster, you are eligible today. Not sure if you received the new booster? If you received your last booster shot before September 1st, 2022, you are eligible for the updated booster.
- The updated booster works. It has been proven to reduce your risk of getting COVID by about 50% compared to people who’ve gone 8 months or more without getting boosted.
The updated booster is safe. The process for creating the updated COVID-19 booster was similar to the one medical experts use each year to update the flu vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitor vaccines for safety. It has found that side effects from the updated boosters are consistent with those from the original booster, and are less common and less serious than health impacts associated with COVID-19 illness.
It is normal to have questions.
- It’s normal to be cautious when something new comes along. Getting informed about COVID-19 vaccines is an important step to help us stop this pandemic.
- Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. We all need to be comfortable with our decisions and your doctor can help.
- OK...what questions do you have? (For answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines, visit GetVaccineAnswers.org.)
Public health guidance on COVID-19 is constantly evolving. Health Action Alliance is committed to regularly updating our materials once we've engaged public health, business and communications experts about the implications of new guidance from the public health community and effective business strategies that align with public health goals. Together, we can turn the tide against COVID-19 and build a stronger, healthier future.