Get the Facts


Get answers to your frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and your vaccine options.


SECTION 1: About COVID-19 Vaccines

Q: Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: COVID-19 can cause serious illness. All COVID-19 vaccines now available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 disease. Even if you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness.

Q: If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

Q: Have any of the available vaccines been approved by the FDA?

A: Yes. On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 5 through 15 years of age. As the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product.

Q: Is it safe for my child to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Yes. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Children 5 years and older are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 5 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?

A: COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 5 years and older.

Q: What is the update on the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine?

A: CDC and FDA have recommended that use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, effective April 23, 2021. However, women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.

Q: What are the most common side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Q: If I am pregnant, can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Yes. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 5 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men. Data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

Q: How long does it take for the vaccine to work?

A: Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, according to the CDC.

Q: Why is a COVID-19 vaccine needed if social distancing and wearing a masks prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading?

A: Vaccines improve your immune system response, so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Vaccination combined with ongoing prevention efforts including wearing face masks that cover the mouth and nose, frequent hand washing and staying at least 6 feet away from others offer the best protection against COVID-19.

Q: Who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccines?

A: The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot:

  • Charge you for the vaccine.
  • Charge you directly for any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance.
  • Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured, or is out of network.
  • Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate.

Q: Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

A: No. None of the vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. A person is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the last dose. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Q: Can I get the COVID-19 and flu vaccine at the same time?

A: Yes. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health every year. Visit for more information.

Q: Do I need a third dose or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness. CDC recommends those with moderate to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna). Talk with your healthcare provider to discuss if you should get a third dose of the vaccine. Visit for more information.

The COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is available for some individuals who received the initial series of the Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) at least six months ago. Individuals include adults 65 years and older, adults 18 and older who live in long-term care settings, adults 18 and older with underlying medical conditions and adults who work or live in high-risk settings (e.g., front line workers). Talk with your health care provider to discuss if you should get a booster shot of the vaccine. Visit for more information.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) are great resources you can utilize as well. Go to and to learn more.

Q: Why should I be concerned with the Delta variant?

A: The Delta variant is highly contagious, more than twice as contagious as previous variants. Unvaccinated individuals and children are among the greatest risk for transmission. The Delta variant may cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people. Visit and for more information.

SECTION 2: Vaccine Development

Q: How were the COVID-19 vaccines developed so quickly?

A: The process has been quicker as a result of efforts to run concurrent trial phases, as well as a commitment to help condense timelines and reduce or eliminate months-long waiting periods during which documents would be prepared or be waiting for review. There were no shortcuts in the testing of the vaccines. In addition, manufacturing began while testing was being completed, allowing many doses to be ready to distribute immediately upon authorization.

Q: Were minorities or people with high-risk health conditions included in the clinical studies?

A: Yes. During the clinical studies for all three COVID-19 vaccines, minorities or people with high-risk health conditions were included.

SECTION 3: Eligibility

Q: What are acceptable forms of identification when I go get my vaccine?

A: Once you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio and are preparing for your vaccine appointment or clinic, make sure you bring an acceptable form of identification with you. The vaccine provider will need identification to verify your identity, name, and age. You do not need to show proof of citizenship or residency status. Your identification will still be accepted if it is expired or from another state or country.

For more information, visit the Ohio Department of Health webpage:

For more information, visit

Click on the logo of your Medicaid plan below to find more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, transportation and more. Or call member services at your health plan. You can find the number on the back of your healthcare member ID card.