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Getting the Vaccine

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

There are currently three (3) approved vaccines in mass production & being distributed around the U.S.:

Vaccines Status Dosing Efficacy Potential Side
Effects
Pfizer
(more info)
Vaccine has been authorized for emergency use Two doses, delivered three weeks apart 95% effective at preventing serious illness Injection-site pain, fatigue, headaches, chills
Moderna
(more info)
Vaccine has been authorized for emergency use Two doses, delivered four weeks apart 94.1% effective at preventing serious illness Injection-site pain, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches, chills
Johnson & Johnson
(more info)
Vaccine has been authorized for emergency use

One-dose

86% effective at preventing serious illness Injection-site pain, headache, and flu-like symptoms

Due to limited supply, the CDC has been submitting its recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on those from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts. The recommendations that were made have been done with these goals in mind:

  • Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible.
  • Preserve functioning of society.
  • Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.

Maryland will be distributing the vaccines to five different priority groups based on relative risk of exposure or developing serious illness. Timing for vaccinating priority groups will depend on vaccine supply and interest in each priority group. The Frederick County Health Department will be posting links to available clinics as they open.

For the detailed information on these groups, the different phases, and much more, please visit https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/vaccine/. ¿Hablas español?

PLEASE NOTE: Vaccine prioritization may be subject to change. The state has adopted a rolling vaccine allocation model, meaning it may not wait for every member of a particular group to get vaccinated before moving ahead; individuals will still have the opportunity to be vaccinated in subsequent phases.