Yes. The COVID-19 vaccines have undergone rigorous safety testing. Scientists from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have reviewed all information from the testing process and determined the vaccine to be safe.
All the usual steps have been taken to make sure the COVID-19 vaccines are safe. To speed up the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, drug manufacturers built upon previous research, used new and faster methods, and was able to begin making the vaccine in advance.
Experts continue tracking vaccine safety information once vaccines are given in real-life conditions to make sure they are working as expected.
The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are mild and temporary. They include fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. You may experience some or none of these side effects. When mild side effects occur, they are a normal sign your body is building protection to the virus. If these minor side effects occur, it’s most likely a day or two after getting the vaccine, and go away in a few days. It is more common to experience these side effects after the second dose.
Because a very small percentage of people who’ve received the vaccine have experienced an allergic reaction, individuals are asked to wait for 15 minutes at the vaccination site to be monitored by medical staff so they could be treated if necessary.
There are no known long term effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, three different COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for emergency use. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 and they do not affect or interact with your DNA in any way.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines and requires two doses. You will get one shot, and then a second shot 21-28 days later (depending on if the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is used.) It is necessary to get both doses of the same vaccine to be fully protected. These vaccines do not contain any live or dead COVID-19 virus. Instead, it uses spike protein RNA, which teaches the immune system to recognize the COVID-19 virus and destroy it before it can infect you.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. This means it uses a modified version of a different, harmless virus to deliver important instructions to our cells. It then use the cell’s machinery to produce one COVID-19 virus protein known as spike protein. The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. After vaccination, you body's immune system recognizes this protein and blocks the virus from infecting you.
No. Because the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no one can be forced to get it. However, we strongly encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you. Getting vaccinated helps protect you and your family, co-workers, residents, patients, and community. It’s also how you can help end the damage to the economy, and eliminate and eradicate COVID-19.
Your vaccination status is your personal data and providers are not able to provide this information to others. However, this information will be available to you to provide to others as proof of vaccination, should an employer or others require this and you are willing to provide your personal vaccination history. No one else is legally able to access your personal vaccination data.
Like all personal health information, COVID-19 vaccination status is protected by federal and state law. Vaccine providers and public health agencies can track who is receiving the COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that all vaccinated people receive both doses of the vaccine, and that the most vulnerable populations are offered the vaccines first. Your COVID-19 vaccination status will be entered into the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection. You will also get a card documenting that you received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes - a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding can get vaccinated but should speak with her health care provider first to understand what is known about their situation and vaccination. New data show the antibodies produced after vaccination are found in the breast milk and may help protect infants from COVID-19.
You should get vaccinated even if you have had COVID-19. Because of the newness of the virus, it’s not known how long a person has immunity after experiencing COVID-19. It’s also not known if being previously infected will make the next infection better or worse.
If your illness was confirmed by a PCR test in the past 90 days, it is okay to wait to get vaccinated. In order to conserve doses when they are limited, you may be asked to wait for the 90-day period.
At this time, we do not know if this will be a vaccine that people need to get again, (like needing a tetanus shot every 10 years or getting a flu shot every year.) While discussion has started about booster vaccines, it is not recommended at this time.
There is no evidence the vaccine can cause sterility or infertility. There is also no biological mechanism that would lead to sterility or infertility in COVID-19 vaccine recipients. This myth originated from unscientific sources and hypotheses not supported by scientific fact.
No. Because the vaccine does not contain any live or dead version of the virus, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. At 95% efficacy, the vaccine is extraordinarily effective at protecting you from the virus.
No. The COVID-19 vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. The mRNA in these vaccines directs the production of specific proteins that your immune system will recognize as viral proteins and subsequently generate a protective immune response. Neither the mRNA nor protein has the ability to change your genome and does not enter the nucleus, where the DNA is located.
No. This is myth that has circulated on the internet. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and can prevent you from getting a severe case of COVID-19.
St. Louis County Public health, like all public health agencies, provides unbiased information and resources to residents of the county we serve. COVID-19 vaccines have been produced by non-governmental private companies, and the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines has been monitored by an independent monitoring board. In addition, public health experts at universities, and medical and pharmacy practitioners have uniformly recommended COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible populations to combat this deadly disease.
We encourage you to check with your health care provider to ensure you are getting accurate and up-to-date vaccine information from a credible source.