Some people may wonder whether the vaccine is safe for them. Their concerns may stem from pre-existing conditions such as allergies, pregnancy or other health concerns. Below, we answer many of the most frequently asked questions about who should get vaccinated.
What are the pros and cons of getting the COVID-19 vaccine vs. catching the COVID-19 virus?
Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
Side Effects & Complications
In most cases, side effects are minor, like head and body aches, fever and chills—flu-like symptoms.
The long-term effects of COVID-19 are unknown, but many who catch the virus experience trouble breathing, fatigue, loss of taste and smell and much more for months after their infection.
Your Friends & Family
The COVID-19 vaccines protect you from the coronavirus, and early research suggests that vaccinated people are potentially less likely to transmit COVID-19.
COVID-19 is highly contagious, and since many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, you run the risk of passing the virus on to vulnerable friends and family members.
Getting Back to Normal
The best way back to normal is through widespread vaccine adoption. Reaching herd immunity is critical to reopening society as we knew it.
Without widespread vaccine adoption, COVID-19 will continue to spread and impact the way we live.
Fertility & Pregnancy
There is currently no evidence that any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems (CDC).
The COVID-19 virus may cause inflammation in men that can affect fertility (NIH).
Severity of Illness
Greatly reduces chance of severe illness, hospitalization or death.
Nearly 3 million people world-wide have died from COVID-19, including more than 500,000 here in the U.S. (NYT).
Are COVID-19 vaccinations for certain age groups?
The CDC recommends the following age groups receive vaccination:
Pfizer-BioNTEch: People 12 years or older Moderna: People 18 years or older Johnson & Johnson: People 18 or older
Please note: Children and adolescents outside these age groups should not receive COVID-19 vaccination at this time.
If I currently have COVID-19 or was exposed to it, should I get vaccinated?
No. The vaccines should not be given to anyone actively infected with COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to it. You can receive the vaccine after you’ve fully recovered, or your quarantine period has ended.
If I have allergies, should I get vaccinated?
It depends on what you’re allergic to. If you have a history of severe allergies or allergies to other vaccines, talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated to ensure your safety.
If I’m immunocompromised, should I get vaccinated?
People who are immunocompromised were not part of the vaccine trials. Talk to your doctor about the best decision for you.
If I have an underlying medical condition, should I get the vaccine?
Yes. But you should not get vaccinated if you have severe allergic reactions. (See the previous question, “If I have allergies, should I get vaccinated?”). In clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccines were shown to be as safe and effective for people with underlying medical conditions as for those without.
If I’m trying to get pregnant, currently pregnant or breastfeeding, should I get vaccinated?
Women who were pregnant or breastfeeding were not part of the vaccine trials, so there’s no data currently available to make a recommendation. It’s important to discuss your options with your doctor before making a decision.