January 12, 2021

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Person wearing cloth face covering while getting vaccination.


As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and then recommended for use in the United States, it will be important to understand what is known about each vaccine. CDC will provide information on when vaccination is recommended for you and what to expect when you get vaccinated, as well as information you need to be a trusted source in your community on vaccination, including the latest on vaccine safety and effectiveness. Check CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccines page frequently to stay up-to-date.

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, the virus can cause severe illness or death. 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 when in public, staying at least 6 feet away from others who don’t live with you, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing your hands often, or using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

  • Click here to learn more about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • V-safe app is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 
    V-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. Your participation in CDC’s v–safe makes a difference — it helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe. 

What To Expect

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Click here to find out what to expect before, during and after your COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Health Considerations

Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. If you have had an immediate allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injectable medicine, you should talk to your doctor about whether you should receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The most common symptoms reported are discomfort from fever or pain.  

Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

The following information will help you make an informed decision about receiving a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine:

New COVID-19 Variants

Information about the characteristics of new COVID-19 variants is rapidly emerging. Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they might spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them. Currently, there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death. Visit the CDC New COVID-19 Variants page to learn more.

Contact Us

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Email: EPIC@cdc.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329 

Contact CDC-INFO
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348