Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Getting the vaccine and continuing to follow recommendations on mask wearing and social distancing are the best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend you get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible. We know some of you have already gotten your vaccine, but perhaps others of you are still on the fence about if the vaccine is right for you, and if you’ll get it when you’re eligible.

Here’s what we know:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • The vaccines we have available today were researched and tested extensively.
  • They underwent some of the most intensive safety monitoring in United States history, and the CDC continues to intensively monitor the safety of the millions of people who have now been vaccinated in the U.S.

Learn how federal partners are ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.

Results are reassuring

As of March 1, 2021, more than 76 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered safely in the U.S. alone. Ongoing monitoring is reassuring – COVID-19 vaccines have short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions that resolve without complication or injury within a few days. 

What to know about vaccine side effects:
•    Some people don’t have any side effects. 
•    Many people will have mild side effects, like pain or swelling at the injection site, a headache, chills or fever. These reactions are normal and are the result of the immune system response, and they are more common after the second dose. 
•    A very small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction (called “anaphylaxis”) after vaccination, but this is extremely rare, and when it does happen, vaccination providers have medicines available they can use to effectively and immediately treat the reaction. 
•    You will be asked to stay for 15 to 30 minutes after you get your vaccine so you can be observed and provided treatment in the rare case it is needed. 

Learn more about what side effects you can expect.

As for vaccine efficacy rates, research has found the vaccines to be very effective. Clinical trials have shown the Moderna vaccine to be 94.1% effective, the Pfizer vaccine to be 95% effective, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be 66.3% effective. Regardless of which vaccine you receive, the vaccines lessen your chances of coming down with the disease, and if you do still get sick, your chances of hospitalization or severe illness are greatly diminished. We encourage you to get whatever vaccine is available to you as soon as you are eligible. 

Read more about the Moderna vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

NEXT STEPS 

The choice is yours to make. If you have additional questions before you make a decision, please talk to your healthcare provider. 

We also encourage you to: