COVID-10 Vaccine FAQ

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HOW WILL THE COVID-19 VACCINE WORK?

  • Vaccines help your body build an immune response by imitating a virus.
  • Vaccines can be made from a live virus, a part of the virus such as the protein spike of the Coronavirus or the genetic code that builds the virus.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE COVID-19 VACCINE IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE?

  • In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve a vaccine before it can be used. Companies must follow FDA guidelines during their clinical trials. Clinical trial participants are given a dose of the vaccine or a placebo and are monitored for infection and side effects. To be approved by the FDA, the data must
    demonstrate that the vaccine is at least 50% effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • Research on other vaccines has shown that side effects typically occur within the first 2 months of receiving the vaccine. All side effects are recorded throughout the trial, and the trial cannot end until two months after the last participant receives a dose.
  • The FDA holds public meetings to share progress on COVID-19 vaccine development. Some states are putting together additional groups to review COVID-19 vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective.

WHEN WILL THE COVID-19 VACCINE BE READY?

  • Scientists began working on a COVID-19 vaccine in January as soon as the genetic code for the virus was isolated. There are two vaccine candidates in the US that began trials this summer and have enough participants to complete their trial. Once they complete the mandatory 2-month observation, they will study the results.
  • Funding from the federal government has allowed several pharmaceutical companies to ramp up production during clinical trials to be ready in case their vaccine is found to be safe and effective. A vaccine could be available in the US as early as the end of 2020.

WHO IS PAYING FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

  • The federal government is committed to providing free or low-cost COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. 
  • Health care providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. Most public and private insurance companies will cover that fee so the person getting vaccinated will pay nothing. In addition, people without health insurance can get COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.

WILL A COVID-19 VACCINE END THE PANDEMIC?

  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines boost your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps you can take, like wearing a mask and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. 
  • Together, the COVID-19 vaccination and following the CDC’s recommendations on how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from the virus.

ONCE APPROVED, WILL I HAVE TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

The government does not have a plan to make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for the general population of the United States.

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