YOU WERE LOOKING FOR
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective?
Yes. All three vaccines authorized for emergency use or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19. After a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the FDA, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This ongoing monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to see if it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in US vaccine recommendations.
The State of New York further reviews COVID vaccination initiatives to ensure COVID vaccine safety. New York State's independent COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Task Force thoroughly review vaccine research before recommending any vaccine to New Yorkers.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. As of August 23, 2021, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine received full FDA approval for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals aged 16 and older.
Will I get COVID from the vaccine?
No. None of the vaccines are made up of materials that can cause the COVID-19 disease. The vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA use a harmless part of the virus’s genetic material called ‘mRNA’. This is not the virus. mRNA vaccines teach your body to create virus proteins. Your immune system develops antibodies against these proteins that will help you fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if you are exposed to it. This means your immune system is responding.
Are COVID vaccines safe for children?
The FDA has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine meets the standards for effectiveness and safety needed for emergency use authorization for use by children ages 5 and older.
Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is very important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Please consult with your doctor if you have specific questions about the COVID vaccine and your health.
Do I still need the vaccine if I have recovered from COVID-19?
Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. People who already had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.
People who were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma or people who have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C) may need to wait a while after recovering before they can get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant, can I get the COVID vaccine?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are pregnant and have received a COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to enroll in v-safe, CDC’s smartphone-based tool that provides personalized health check-ins after vaccination. A v-safe pregnancy registry has been established to gather information on the health of pregnant people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
What are the side effects of the COVID vaccine?
Some people have side effects from the vaccine, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects, and allergic reactions are rare.
Common side effects include, pain, redness or swelling of the arm where you got the shot. Tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea are other general side effects associated with the COVID vaccine and other vaccines alike.
Who can get a COVID vaccine booster (third dose)?
A booster or additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will help all eligible New Yorkers maximize their protection, prolong the vaccine’s durability, and continue to safeguard our communities against the virus. Booster and additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are free and widely available statewide.
New Yorkers 12 years and older who received their Pfizer-BioNTech initial vaccine series at least five months ago are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.
New Yorkers 18 years and older who received the Moderna initial vaccine series at least five months ago or the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago are eligible for a booster dose.
Can I get other vaccines along the COVID-19 vaccine?
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. Learn more about the timing of other vaccines.
Can I get vaccinate while currently sick with COVID-19?
No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
Can I choose which vaccine to get?
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine available to children ages 5 through 17 years old. For adults ages 18 years and older, the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) are preferred over Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine. All COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized and recommended for use in the U.S. are safe and effective. However, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are preferred based on an updated risk-benefit analysis.
AFTER THE COVID-19 VACCINE
If I lost my vaccination card, can I get a new one?
If you need a new vaccination card, contact the vaccination provider site where you received your vaccine. Your provider should give you a new card with up-to-date information about the vaccinations you have received.
If the location where you received your COVID-19 vaccine is no longer operating, contact New York State Immunization Information System or local health department for assistance. The State agency cannot issue you a vaccination card, but they can provide a digital or paper copy of your vaccination record.
Some vaccination providers and health departments may offer you access to a QR code or digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card in addition to giving you a physical CDC COVID-19 Vaccination card.
Do you need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I am vaccinated?
If you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, in general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
However, if you are in an area with high numbers of COVID-19 cases,
consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and when you are in close contact with others who are not up to date on their vaccinations, and wear a mask indoors in public.
What treatments are available for COVID-19?
The FDA has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for adults and certain pediatric patients with COVID-19.
The FDA has also issued an Emergency Use Authorization for several monoclonal antibody treatments to treat COVID-19, and in some cases to prevent COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made molecules that act as substitute antibodies. They can help your immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus, making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm.
What should you do if you have or suspect to have COVID-19?
In general, most people have mild illness and can recover at home. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, notify your doctor, monitor your symptoms, and get emergency medical care immediately for emergency warning signs, such as trouble breathing.
If you think you have COVID-19 and need a test, contact your health care provider, local health department, or find a community testing site.
When should you seek medical attention?
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, please seek medical care immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake or stay awake
Pale, gray, or blueish skin, lips, nail beds.