Get the Facts
GET THE FACTS
Get answers to your frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and your vaccine options.
SECTION 1: About COVID-19 Vaccines
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: 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. Adolescents ages 12 years and older receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. However, children ages 5 through 11 years receive an age-appropriate dose that is one-third of the adult dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. 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: 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: 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that all eligible persons, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series. Please discuss with your healthcare provider if you have questions or would like additional information.
Q: Why is a COVID-19 vaccine needed if social distancing and wearing a mask prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading?
A: Vaccines help our bodies develop immunity, 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 www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2021-2022.htm 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 health care provider to discuss if you should get a third dose of the vaccine. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html for more information.
All COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available to everyone ages 18 and older. If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, you should get your booster shot at least 6 months after completing your initial COVID-19 vaccination series. If you received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, you can get your booster shot 2 months after receiving your first COVID-10 vaccine. Talk with your health care provider to discuss if you should get a booster shot of the vaccine. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html for more information.
Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has great resources you can utilize as well. Go to
coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/vaccine/fact-sheet-covid-19-vaccine-booster-doses.pdf and coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/resources/general-resources/faq-covid-19-vaccine-booster-doses to learn more.
Q: Why should I be concerned with the Omicron variant?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified rapid increase of infections with the Omicron variant in the United States. While the symptoms are milder than previous variants, Omicron still causes COVID-19 symptoms which could lead to hospitalization if you are not vaccinated. Omicron is highly contagious and can spread more easily as compared to the Delta variant. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html to learn more.
SECTION 2: Vaccine Development
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: 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: 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.