COVID-19 Vaccine Key Messages
You can help stop the pandemic by getting a COVID- 19 vaccine when it is available to you.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will be one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. The more people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, the better it is for everyone.
By stopping the spread of COVID-19, we can keep businesses, schools, and other venues open. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 gets us closer to the end of the pandemic.
Getting vaccinated lets you do more of the things you love.
You may need one or two doses for the best protection depending on the brand of vaccine. After your final COVID-19 vaccine dose, it takes two weeks for your body to build up protection. After those two weeks, you are considered fully vaccinated. Once you are fully vaccinated:
● You can gather indoors with smaller groups of fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. Avoid larger gatherings.
● You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
● You can gather with others outdoors without wearing a mask except in crowded settings and venues, such as sporting events, outdoor concerts, etc
However, we are still learning how the vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. It is important to continue to follow current public health guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 even after you are fully vaccinated. When recommended, wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 6 feet from others, and stay home if you feel sick. Continue to follow guidance at your workplace, school, and other settings as well.
All COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Having a safe and effective vaccine is the top priority. The requirements for COVID-19 vaccine are the same as all other vaccines. The manufacturers must present the study data that shows the vaccine is safe and that it works before it is made available for general populations. This data is closely reviewed by several scientific groups and they make informed decisions about the risks and benefits of using it. Health officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccines for safety once they are being used in the general population. This allows them to identify if there are uncommon side effects that are so rare they were not found during clinical trials. Experts review any safety concerns right away and give information to providers and the public on how to treat and respond to them. Vaccine safety is a top priority at every step of the process. CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe. It helps you track and report any side effects that you might have. V-safe will also remind you when it is time to get your second dose. The person giving you the vaccine will give you more information on v-safe. You can learn more at V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html). Studies show that all COVID-19 vaccines work very well at keeping you from getting COVID-19. They also seem to work against the new variants. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccine studies included diverse participants.
It is important that our diverse communities were included in the COVID-19 vaccine studies. Tens of thousands of Black, Latinx, American Indian, and Asian people participated in these studies. We know that these communities are often excluded from benefits of medicine but experience ongoing and historical racism, medical trauma, and abuse. Because people of different races, ethnicities, ages, and health conditions participated in the vaccine studies, we know that the vaccine works well in everyone.
All COVID-19 vaccines protect against COVID-19.
All the COVID-19 vaccines are very good at protecting you from COVID-19. There are not recommendations for certain populations (e.g., older people or people with immune disorders, etc.) to get one vaccine over the other. However, people, especially women younger than 50 years old, should be aware of the rare but increased risk of the blood clotting issue with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions—they can share information on the risks and benefits of this vaccine. There are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.
No community or group is being targeted with one particular COVID-19 vaccine. Minnesota is distributing all three COVID-19 vaccines widely to all vaccine providers: health systems, community vaccination sites, local public health, pharmacies, etc. Currently, most vaccination sites and health care providers in Minnesota only have one COVID-19 vaccine product, so people will probably not have a choice of which vaccine they get. We encourage you to get vaccinated with the vaccine offered to you. You can refuse to get vaccinated, but another vaccine appointment cannot be guaranteed right now while vaccine supply remains low
After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building protection.
After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you will probably have a sore arm and you might have muscle aches, tiredness, headache, or maybe a fever (fever is less common). Sometimes these side effects may stop you from doing your normal activities for a couple days.
If you have serious side effects that require medical care, go to a hospital or call 911.
COVID-19 vaccine will be free for you.
COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to people at no cost. However, health care providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the vaccine to someone. This means that you might be asked for your insurance information when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. You can still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you do not have insurance and/or cannot pay the administration fee.