Deciding whether to get the COVID vaccine? 5 facts you should know
Getting vaccinated is a personal decision and you may have some questions about whether getting vaccinated is the right thing for you or your loved ones. Here are five things to consider if you’re still on the fence.
1. Getting vaccinated can help keep you and those around you from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized or dying from the disease. It will also protect others around you, like the elderly, those living with chronic medical conditions and people of color who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
The great news is that more people are eligible to get vaccinated, as supply allows. And the FDA recently announced that the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use in kids 12-15. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will review the data and if they recommend the vaccine for use in this age group, this means even more of our population can get vaccinated. The more people who get vaccinated, the sooner we can feel safe being among one another and go back to normal activities.
2. Black, Hispanic and Indigenous people are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 complications
Black, Latinx/Hispanic and Indigenous people are at an increased risk of dying from COVID-19. These communities are overrepresented in front-line, essential jobs, and are vulnerable to risk factors that can make COVID-19 worse, such as heart disease and diabetes.
3. Though the COVID-19 vaccine development was fast, it did not skip any safety steps
The vaccines were developed quickly, but that does not mean any safety steps were skipped. The COVID-19 vaccines available today in the U.S. were determined safe and highly effective in preventing COVID-19 by the FDA. The FDA and CDC continue to monitor safety data on the vaccines.
Also, you should know that the mRNA technology found in two vaccines has actually been in development for decades, and allows for vaccines to be made quicker because they can be made in a laboratory using readily available ingredients.
4. The vaccines were tested in diverse groups
Participants in vaccine clinical trials were diverse. The clinical trials for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines included Asian (about 5%), Black (about 10% of participants), Hispanic (about 20% of participants), Indigenous (about 1%) and White people (about 80%). The U.S. study participants for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were 6% Asian, 13% Black, 15% Hispanic,1% Indigenous and 74% White. New and future clinical trials are likely to include pregnant women and children under 12. In all three studies, the vaccines were found safe and highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.
5. Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are temporary
The vaccines do not contain live coronavirus, and you cannot and will not get COVID-19 from getting vaccinated. There may be side effects, but they usually go away within a few days at the most. Side effects are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity. Possible side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever or body aches. In very rare cases, a more serious reaction can occur. But side effects are less severe than the disease or the possible long-term side effects of getting COVID-19.