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How do we know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

The COVID-19 vaccines have all met rigorous safety standards and completed intensive safety monitoring that is greater or equal to any other vaccine on the market. The vaccines have also been extensively tested in large clinical trials where each met rigorous safety criteria. The vaccines have been reviewed and authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and have also been approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a CDC advisory committee.

As vaccines are made available to the public, the CDC will continue to monitor their safety.

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is the safest, healthiest way to protect yourself and your community from the COVID-19 virus. By taking the vaccine, you can do your part in ending the pandemic and restoring normalcy to our state.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

The COVID-19 vaccination teaches your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, a process also known as building immunity. Once you have built immunity against COVID-19, your body will be able to fight it off if you come in contact with it.

Health & Safety

You should wait 14 days after receiving any other vaccine before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, and you should not receive any other vaccine within 14 days after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you do receive your COVID-19 vaccine too close to another vaccine, simply complete your COVID-19 vaccine series on schedule.

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines – or any vaccine ­– will have any adverse effects on fertility or future efforts to conceive.

No negative outcomes have been observed in pregnant women who receive the vaccine. If you’re pregnant, talk with your healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine to make sure it’s the right decision for you. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, be sure to enroll in V-safe, a program created by the CDC to monitor your health after receiving your vaccine.

While there is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for lactating women and breastfed infants yet, getting the vaccine is not thought to be a risk for mothers or their babies. If you are able to get the vaccine, discuss any questions or concerns you have with your healthcare provider.

As of now, the Pfizer-BioNTec vaccine is not available for children age 16 or younger, and the Moderna vaccine is not available for those age 18 or younger.

Most people with underlying conditions are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and becoming seriously ill, and the vaccine provides critical protection. Always discuss any concerns you have with your healthcare provider.

Though it is possible to have a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, these instances are rare. According to the CDC, there have been reports of severe allergic reactions after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. In the case of a reaction, the person can be treated with epinephrine, or an EpiPen©, or go to the hospital.

No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will not change DNA. In fact, mRNA vaccines never come in contact or interact with your DNA.

The vaccines authorized in the United States are messenger RNA vaccines, or mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines teach cells how to trigger an immune response without ever entering the nucleus of the cell where your DNA is located.

According to the CDC, the two COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States do not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex.

You can find a full list of vaccine ingredients for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and muscle aches. You may also have some soreness or redness in the arm that took the vaccine. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection, and all side effects should subside within a few days.

None of the necessary steps in the vaccine-creation process were skipped in making the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine was made available to the public quickly thanks to expedited approvals and government funding that allowed pharmaceutical companies to create and scale the vaccines quicker than possible within a normal budget.

The COVID-19 vaccines have all met rigorous safety standards and completed intensive safety monitoring that is greater or equal to any other vaccine on the market. The vaccines have also been extensively tested in large clinical trials where each met rigorous safety criteria. The vaccines have been reviewed and authorized for emergency use by the FDA, and have also been approved by the ACIP, a CDC advisory committee.

As vaccines are made available to the public, the CDC will continue to monitor their safety.

Effectiveness

The second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be given 3 weeks (21 days) after the first.

The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be given 1 month (28 days) after the first.

While there is no maximum interval between doses, you should try to get your second dose as close to your vaccine’s recommended interval as possible. You should not get your second dose any earlier than your 3-week or 1-month interval though.

There are currently two vaccines available, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Both have been proven to be safe and effective through rigorous studies and clinical trials. Learn more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine.

After receiving the vaccine, your body needs a few weeks to build up immunity against COVID-19 to effectively protect you from getting sick.

Not yet. Until experts are able to observe the vaccine in real-world scenarios, it’s important we all continue to:

  • Wear a mask in public
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Clean surfaces often
  • Stay home if you’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19

Yes. Though you may have some immunity after contracting and beating COVID-19, this immunity is likely temporary and reinfection is possible.

Yes. COVID-19 can cause serious complications, and in some cases, death. The minor side effects associated with the vaccine are miniscule compared to getting the virus.

No. There are no live COVID-19 viruses within the vaccines, making it impossible for you to contract COVID-19 from the vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination teaches your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, a process also known as building immunity. Once you have built immunity against COVID-19, your body will be able to fight it off if you come in contact with it.

Cost

No. Getting vaccinated comes at no cost to you, whether you have insurance or not.

Availability and Logistics

There is no federal mandate or CDC recommendation for the COVID-19 vaccine to be required. State agencies, local government agencies or employers may require workers to get the vaccine.

When you are eligible for vaccination, click here to find vaccines locations. If someone you know is eligible to receive the vaccine as defined by the state guidelines but does not have internet access, they can call the state’s COVID-19 Call Center at 800-803-7847 to get help locating a vaccination site. They can also call the Arkansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging at 866-739-7751 to get help finding a vaccination site and setting up an appointment. (They help Arkansans 50+).

It is important to only be added to one vaccine provider’s waiting list. When your vaccine is ordered, your provider will allow you to make an appointment to receive the first dose of the vaccine. Schedule your second dose of the vaccine the day you receive your first.

All Arkansans will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine in phases. Learn more about the ADH vaccination plan.