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Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Systems that allow CDC to watch for safety issues are in place across the entire country.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to meet rigorous safety criteria and be effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. Watch a video describing the emergency use authorization. Clinical trials for all vaccines must first show they meet rigorous criteria for safety and effectiveness before any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine. Learn more about how federal partners are ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
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People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may might help you make an informed decision. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines.
No data are available yet on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed infants or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants. People who are breastfeeding and are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare personnel, may choose to be vaccinated.
To make sure that more information is gathered regarding the safety of these vaccines when administered during pregnancy, pregnant people are encouraged to enroll in v-safe, CDC’s new smartphone-based tool being used to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If pregnant people report health events through v-safe after vaccination, someone from CDC may call to check on them and get more information. Additionally, pregnant people enrolled in v-safe will be contacted by CDC and asked to participate in a pregnancy registry that will monitor them through pregnancy and the first 3 months of infancy. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeedingexternal icon.
to check on you. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.
Each state has its own plan for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first. You can contact your state health department for more information on its plan for COVID-19 vaccination.
The goal is for everyone to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination easily as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available. As the vaccine supply increases, more groups will be added to receive vaccination. Learn more about CDC recommendations for who should get vaccinated first.
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called “natural immunity,” varies from person to person. It is rare for someone who has had COVID-19 to get infected again. It also is uncommon for people who do get COVID-19 again to get it within 90 days of when they recovered from their first infection. We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.
Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are working to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.
While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.
To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:
Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
Stay at least 6 feet away from others
Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
Wash your hands often
Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
CDC has learned of reports that some people have experienced severe allergic reactions—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose.
CDC has also learned of reports that some people have experienced non-severe allergic reactions within 4 hours after getting vaccinated (known as immediate allergic reactions), such as hives, swelling, and wheezing (respiratory distress).
If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. If you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second dose. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology to provide more care or advice.
VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients.
Healthcare providers are required by law to report to VAERS:
Any adverse event listed in the VAERS Table of Reportable Events Following Vaccination that occurs within the specified time period after vaccinations
An adverse event listed by the vaccine manufacturer as a contraindication to further doses of the vaccine
Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to report to VAERS:
Any adverse event that occurs after the administration of a vaccine licensed in the United States, whether it is or is not clear that a vaccine caused the adverse event
Vaccine administration errors
Vaccine manufacturers are required to report to VAERS all adverse events that come to their attention.
Online reporting is strongly encouraged. Please report clinically important adverse events that occur after vaccination of adults and children, even if you are not sure whether the vaccine caused the adverse event.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) accepts all reports, including reports of vaccination errors. Guidance on reporting vaccination errors is available if you have additional questions.
Knowingly filing a false VAERS report is a violation of Federal law (18 U.S. Code § 1001) punishable by fine and imprisonment.