Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
Everyone 16 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination. CDC also has information for busting common vaccine myths available in facts about COVID-19 vaccines.
CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine in the United States out of an abundance of caution, effective Tuesday, April 13. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will hold its second emergency meeting to discuss J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine on April 23, 2021. People who have received the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine within the past three weeks who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should seek medical care right away.
You should get any COVID-19 vaccine that is available when you are eligible. Do not wait for a specific brand. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.
Learn more about your COVID-19 vaccination, including how to find a vaccination location, what to expect at your appointment, and more.
After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes, if you are pregnant, you might choose to be vaccinated. Based on how COVID-19 vaccines work, experts think they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant. However, there are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people because these vaccines have not been widely studied in pregnant people. Systems are in place to continue to monitor vaccine safety, and so far, they have not identified any specific safety concerns for pregnant people. Clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people are underway or planned.
You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide whether to get vaccinated. While a conversation with your healthcare provider might be helpful, it is not required before to 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.
We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
- Other people who are fully vaccinated
- Unvaccinated people from one other household, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Until more is known, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart from other people in other settings, like when they are in public or visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
Additional recommendations can be found at When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Vaccine ingredients can vary by manufacturer. To learn more about the ingredients in authorized COVID-19 vaccines, see
- Information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Information about the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- Information about the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot:
- Charge you for the vaccine
- Charge you directly for any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance
- Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured, or is out of network
- Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination
- Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate
COVID-19 vaccination providers can:
- Seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s plan or program (e.g., private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) for a vaccine administration fee
- However, providers cannot charge the vaccine recipient the balance of the bill
- Seek reimbursement for uninsured vaccine recipients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Programexternal icon
- Two Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
- Two Moderna vaccine doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart.
- Johnson & Johnsons Jansen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine requires only one dose.
If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary.. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.
People with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from 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.