What is covid-19 vaccine?

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COVID-19 vaccine: Overview

The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19. If you get COVID-19, your symptoms will probably be less severe than if you hadn't gotten the vaccine. You can't get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

The number of doses you need can depend on your age, your health, which vaccine you get, and whether updated vaccines are recommended. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you how to stay up to date.

How can you care for yourself after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • If you have a sore arm or a fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the sore area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • If you have side effects, such as a fever, be sure to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine can protect you and others from getting very sick from COVID-19, a disease caused by a type of coronavirus. COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, long-term health problems, and even death.

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone over 6 months of age should stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine is safe and effective at protecting people from serious illness and death.

The vaccine is extra important for people who are at high risk for complications from COVID-19 if they catch it. It is also important for people who live with them. Some examples of people at high risk include those who:

  • Are older than age 65.
  • Have certain health conditions, such as diabetes or lung problems.
  • Are pregnant.

If you've already had COVID-19, you can catch it again. Getting the vaccine gives you extra protection.

COVID-19 vaccine: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if after getting the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • You have symptoms of a severe reaction to the vaccine. Symptoms of a severe reaction may include:
    • Severe difficulty breathing.
    • Sudden raised, red areas (hives) all over your body.
    • Severe lightheadedness.
    • Severe belly pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have one or more of these symptoms within a few weeks of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Chest pain, or a feeling of a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

You might not have any side effects. But if you do, they'll probably be like side effects from other vaccines. Those can include a fever, soreness, and feeling very tired. You may also have other side effects, including chills, headache, arm pain, or a rash. This is normal. Your body is building protection against COVID-19.

How can getting the COVID-19 vaccine protect you and your community?

Getting vaccinated will help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19. It will also help protect others around you, including people who are more likely to get very sick or die from COVID-19. If you get the virus, you could spread it to friends, family, and other people in your community—including those who are at high risk.

The vaccine can help protect you and people you care about from other problems caused by getting COVID-19. This includes long-term health problems. It also includes missing work, school, or other events. And it includes the cost of health care if you are seriously ill.

What happens when you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

After you get the vaccine, the staff will check to make sure you're feeling okay. You may have side effects, such as a fever, soreness, and feeling very tired. That's normal.

Deciding to get the COVID-19 vaccine

It's important to know the facts about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some details to help you learn more.

What are the benefits?

Getting the vaccine

  • The vaccine protects you from getting very sick or dying from COVID-19. If you get COVID-19, your symptoms will probably be less severe than if you hadn't gotten the vaccine.
  • Even though there is a risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 after you're up to date on your vaccines, the vaccine does help protect others around you. This includes people who are more likely to get very sick or die from COVID-19. If you get the virus, you could spread it to friends, family, and other people in your community who are at high risk. This can happen even if you don't have symptoms. So getting the vaccine can help save lives.
  • When more people get vaccinated, the disease is less likely to spread.

Not getting the vaccine

  • Without the vaccine, you will be less protected from getting very sick or dying from the virus. And you won't be keeping others safe or helping your community.
  • Without the vaccine, you'll be less protected from other problems caused by getting COVID-19. This includes long-term health problems. It also includes missing work, school, or other events. And it includes the cost of care if you get seriously ill.

How safe is it?

Getting the vaccine

  • The vaccine is safe and effective. It's been given to billions of people. Scientists made sure the vaccine was tested for many people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, and for people with different health issues.
  • You cannot get COVID-19 by getting the vaccine.

Not getting the vaccine

  • Without protection from the vaccine, if you get COVID-19, your risk of serious illness, long-term health problems, or dying will be much higher.

What are the side effects and risks?

Getting the vaccine

  • You may have some side effects after getting the vaccine. This is normal. It means that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
  • Side effects may include a fever, soreness, and feeling very tired.
  • The risk of serious problems is very low. Serious allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare. And they can be treated if they do happen. The risk of other problems is also very low. There are different vaccines to choose from. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.

Not getting the vaccine

  • If you don't get the vaccine, you'll be at much higher risk of getting seriously ill, having long-term health problems, or even dying from COVID-19.
  • For most people, symptoms of COVID-19 are much worse than side effects from the vaccine.

The benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the potential risks.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.