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.

Benefits of Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine

Benefits of Getting 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.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe—much safer than getting COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can offer added protection to people who had COVID-19, including protection against being hospitalized from a new infection.
  • As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date with the recommended number of doses and boosters.

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 potentially severe illness or post-COVID conditions.

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 no 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.

CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older stay up to date with their vaccines, which includes everyone 5 years and older getting boosters if 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.

Read the data about risk factors for severe COVID-19 in children published in Pediatricschildhood COVID-19-related hospitalizations published in MMWR, and weekly summaries of COVID-19 hospitalization data through COVID-NET.

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, scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of children and adults 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 rare following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination.
  • The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.
  • More information on why children and teens should get vaccinated against COVID-19.
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.