Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, including for children ages 5 years and older
- Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by FDA.
- COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Learn more about how federal partners are continuing to closely monitor vaccine safety.
- A growing body of evidence has shown that these vaccines are safe and effective.
- COVID-19 vaccines were developed using scientific methods that have been around for decades.
- Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA gave the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5 years through 15 years and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older. Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing and approving COVID-19 vaccines.
- Some people have no side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Many people have reported side effects that may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a few days.
- There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems.
- The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Reports of adverse events, like allergic reactions or myocarditis or pericarditis, are rare.
- Everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine can participate in safety monitoring by enrolling themselves and their children ages 5 years and older in v-safe and completing health check-ins after COVID-19 vaccination. Parents and caregivers can create or use their own account to enter their children’s information.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective
- COVID 19-vaccines are effective and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccines also help children and adults from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19.
- There are approximately 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old in the United States, and there have been nearly 2 million cases of COVID-19 within this age group during the pandemic. COVID-19 can make children very sick, require hospitalization, and some children have even died. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions.
- Getting children ages 5 years and older vaccinated can help protect them from serious short- and long-term complications.
- Getting everyone ages 5 years and older vaccinated can protect families and communities, including friends and family who are not eligible for vaccination and people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. It might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated people.
- Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant.
- Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against this variant.
- Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from this variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period.
- Get vaccinated and wear masks indoors in public spaces to reduce the spread of this variant.
Once fully vaccinated, people can start doing more
- After children and adults are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, they can resume many activities that they did before the pandemic.
- CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
- People are not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or 2 weeks after a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
- Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination for people with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection
- Children ages 5 years and older and adults who are eligible should get vaccinated regardless of whether they already had COVID-19. Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with previously having a COVID-19 infection. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than two times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.
- Learn more about the clinical considerations of COVID-19 vaccination for people who were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, or history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C).
- Children who get COVID-19 can develop serious complications like MIS-C—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Since the pandemic began, 2,316 cases of MIS-C have been reported in children ages 5 through 11 years. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with healthy children.
- COVID-19 is still a threat to people who are unvaccinated. Some people – including children – who get COVID-19 can become severely ill, which could result in hospitalization, and some have ongoing health problems several weeks or even longer after getting infected. Even people who did not have symptoms when they were infected can have these ongoing health problems.
Immunity after COVID-19 vaccination
- We are still learning about COVID-19 vaccines. CDC continues to review evidence and update guidance as more information is learned.
- We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. But we do know 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.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be completely protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- CDC recommends an additional primary shot for moderate to severely immunocompromised people and booster shots for certain groups of people.
People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines can give you COVID-19
None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Learn more about how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work.
- Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
- Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
- Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
- Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination in Children
- How Do I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine?
- When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated
- COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby