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Vaccine Risks/Benefits

While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.

After a COVID-19 vaccination, there may be some minimal side effects, the most common being soreness at the injection site, fever, and/or body aches. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. These side effects may feel like the flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Also, the two available vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 - so a vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

The CDC currently recommends that individuals who do not possess underlying conditions that would likely increase the risk for a serious adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine be observed after vaccination for the following time periods:

  • 30 minutes: Persons with a history of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a vaccine or injectable therapy and persons with a history of anaphylaxis due to any cause.
  • 15 minutes: All other persons

How do we know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make a COVID-19 vaccine(s) available. Vaccines undergo a series of rigorous clinical trials using thousands of study participants to generate data and other information for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine their safety and effectiveness to approve or authorize for emergency use. Following approval or authorization, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events or possible side effects. Visit the CDC’s website for more information about ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. - including information about specific vaccine monitoring systems.

  • Learn more about the facts surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine (¿Hablas español?)
  • Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.