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Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine



Why should you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine can help lower your chances of getting COVID-19. The vaccine can help stop the pandemic. The vaccine protects you and those around you.

Learn about the benefits


What COVID-19 vaccine should I get?

The best vaccine against COVID-19 is the one in your arm.

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Want to learn more about the vaccines?

Watch this video and get answers to common questions.

Hear the facts from an Optum doctor


Frequently asked questions

See more answers to questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Find vaccine locations and resources near you.

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COVID-19 vaccine FAQs

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  • It will lower your chances of getting COVID-19. 
    The vaccine helps your body protect itself from COVID-19. It’s designed is to keep you from: 

    • Getting seriously sick 
    • Spreading COVID-19 to others  

    It will help you protect yourself, your family and your community. 
    You can spread COVID-19 without feeling sick. 

    It will help stop COVID-19. 
    The more people who get the vaccine, the less chance COVID-19 has to spread and cause severe illness. We need to use all the tools we have to stop it. 

    Remember, once you get the vaccine, you still need to:

    • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others you don’t live with.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you don’t have soap and water nearby, use hand sanitizer.
  • Use our vaccine resource locator tool to find resources near you by ZIP code. Learn who can get a vaccine, where to get it, how to sign up for alerts and how to schedule an appointment. 

    You can also visit the CDC website and find local COVID-19 vaccine information. 

  • Yes. According to the CDC, you need to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when: 

    • You’re with others outside your household
    • You’re in a health care facility (like a hospital, clinic, nursing home, etc.)
    • You get any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine 

    Anyone who has trouble breathing or can’t remove a mask without help should not wear a mask. To learn more, see the CDC's considerations for wearing masks.

  • The supply of vaccine is limited. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with state and local public health departments to deliver the vaccine safely and quickly. You can learn more about that here

    Certain groups are getting the vaccine first: 

    • Health care workers
    • People living in long-term care facilities (for example, nursing homes)
    • Essential workers (check with your state about who is an essential worker)
    • People age 65 and older 

    More COVID-19 vaccines are on the way. The FDA is working with vaccine developers to safely and quickly prepare them for use across the U.S.

    Find out where you can get the COVID-19 vaccine

    You can also visit the CDC website and find local COVID-19 vaccine information. 

  • Not yet. We know that a vaccine will protect you from getting sick with the virus. But you may still be able to spread it to others. A large portion of the population needs to be vaccinated to help stop the virus from spreading. 

    Until then, everyone needs to:

    • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others you don’t live with.

    Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you don’t have soap and water nearby, use hand sanitizer.

  • According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19. The vaccines that the FDA has approved:

    • Don’t contain the COVID-19 virus 
    • Can’t make you sick with COVID-19 

    There are other COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the United States. None of those use the live virus that causes COVID-19. 

    The goal for each vaccine is to teach the body to find and fight the COVID-19 virus. Read more about these facts and others on the CDC website. 

  • You may be told to get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if you’ve been sick with COVID-19 before. At this time, experts don’t know how long you’re protected from getting sick again after you’ve had COVID-19.

    You can learn more on the CDC website. 

  • The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested in clinical trials. It was only approved because it can greatly lower the chances of getting COVID-19.

    Experts believe that even if you catch COVID-19, this vaccine may help keep you from getting very ill. Your body will be ready to fight the virus.

  • The term, mRNA, stands for “messenger ribonucleic acid.” It’s basically directions for making a protein or a piece of a protein.

    The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the part of the cell where our genes are kept. So, the mRNA can’t change your genes.

    Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses. It helps the body to safely protect you from COVID-19.

  • A viral vector vaccine uses a harmless version of a different virus to deliver information to your body that helps it protect you. The harmless virus is called a “vector.”

    The vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is a viral vector vaccine. It uses the virus that causes the common cold. 

    The virus is changed so that it can’t make you sick. Instead, it’s given a new job: deliver a piece of DNA that tells the body to make the COVID-19 spike protein. 

    When your body makes the spike protein, your immune system reacts to it. It begins making special cells to protect you from COVID-19 infection. 

    Viral vectors can’t make you sick with COVID-19. They also do nothing to your DNA. Learn more about viral vector COVID-19 vaccines on the CDC website. 

  • All COVID-19 vaccines that the FDA has approved are safe and work well at keeping people from getting COVID-19. You can read more about it on the CDC website. 

    The FDA follows a very strict system to make sure vaccines are safe. The FDA followed this strict system with all of the COVID-19 vaccines that it approved. 

    The FDA keeps collecting information about vaccines after they are approved. It watches for new information about side effects. You can find out more about COVID-19 vaccine safety on the CDC website. 

    COVID-19 vaccines are key to slowing the pandemic. Take care of yourself and others: get the vaccine as soon as it’s offered to you.

  • COVID-19 vaccine side effects are like other vaccines'. Your arm that gets the shot may feel:

    • Pain
    • Redness
    • Swelling

    In the rest of your body, you might have:

    • Fatigue (tiredness)
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fever 

    Side effects can last 24–48 hours after you get the vaccine. If you get a two-dose vaccine, you could have stronger side effects after the second dose. 

    Side effects are a sign that your body is making antibodies. An antibody is a cell that fights infection. Side effects do not mean you have COVID-19. 

    What should you do if you have side effects that bother you or don’t go away? Tell your doctor. Or call the place where you got the vaccine. 

    You should also tell the CDC if you have side effects. The CDC tracks the safety of vaccines, along with the FDA. There are two ways to tell the CDC about side effects:

    If you have an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.