Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

Why to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

Why to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

What You Need to Know

There are many benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying—especially people who are boosted.
  • As with vaccines for other diseases, you are protected best when you stay up to date with the recommended number of doses and boosters.
  • COVID-19 vaccines even offer protection to people who had COVID-19, including protection against being hospitalized from a new infection.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe—much safer than getting COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccination Is a Safer, More Reliable Way to Build Protection

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience sickness, potentially including severe illness.

Getting sick with COVID-19 can have serious consequences.

While people can get some protection from having COVID-19, the level and length of that protection varies.

  • Immunity (protection) from infection can vary depending on how mild or severe someone’s illness was and their age.
  • Immunity from infection decreases over time.
  • Importantly, there is still not an antibody test available that can reliably determine if a person is protected from further infection.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Effective

COVID 19-vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.

The protection COVID-19 vaccines provide decreases over time, especially for certain groups of people. For this reason, CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older stay up to date with their vaccines, which includes getting boosters when eligible, for the best protection against COVID-19.

People who have certain medical conditions or who are taking medications that weaken their immune system are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death. Additionally, their immune response to COVID-19 vaccination may not be as strong as in people who are not immunocompromised. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have specific recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters.

Vaccines Help Protect Children from Serious Complications

COVID-19 vaccination reduces the likelihood of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) for children ages 12–18 years— according to one research study by 91%.

Children and teens 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.

Getting eligible children and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 can help keep them:

  • From getting really sick if they do get COVID-19
  • In school or daycare
  • Safely participating in sports, playdates, and other group activities.
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About Variants

Many viruses are constantly changing, including the virus that causes COVID-19. These changes occur over time and can lead to the emergence of variants that may have new characteristics. Vaccines continue to protect people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe for Children and Adults

While COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

  • COVID-19 vaccines were developed using science that has been around for decades.
  • Before COVID-19 vaccines were recommended, including for children ages 5 through 18 years, scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of adults and children and found no serious safety concerns.
  • Hundreds of millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intensive safety monitoring program in U.S. history.
  • Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unusual following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.

In most situations, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) are preferred over the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for primary and booster vaccination due to the risk of serious adverse events.

V-safe provides quick and confidential health check-ins via text messages and web surveys so you can quickly and easily share with CDC how you or your dependent feel after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.