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 12 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 12 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 12 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 12 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, if you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide whether to get vaccinated. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination.

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. Effectiveness is maximized 28 days after immunization for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, according to the FDA’s analysis of clinical trial data.

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

A: Vaccines boost your immune system, 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.

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 FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines, minorities or people with high-risk health conditions were included.

Q: What are the normal side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: When you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you can expect mild side effects, including soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site. Other common side effects are fever, chills, headache, tiredness, and muscle or joint pain. These side effects are normal as your body creates an immune response to protect you from COVID-19.

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.