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What are the benefits and risks of the vaccine?

The benefits and risks will vary by vaccine. Some general benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • It will help keep you from getting 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.
    • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on the severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
    • Vaccinated people who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
      • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
      • Are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series
      • Have remained asymptomatic since COVID-19 exposureNOTE: People who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • It will be a safer way to build up protection.
    • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. If you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
    • Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
    • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts do not 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.
    • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and the CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
  • It is an important tool to help stop the pandemic
    • 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.
    • The combination of getting vaccinated and following the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, the CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.

Some COVID-19 vaccine risks include:

  • There is a possibility the vaccine will not work; thus, no immunity will be provided.
  • You may experience side effects, such as:
  • Chills, fever, and headache,
  • Joint pain and muscle aches,
  • Nausea,
  • Redness and swelling at the injection site; and
  • Pain or soreness at the injection site.
  • These side effects may start one to two days after the vaccine is given. Most will get better after three days or sooner.
  • Problems that are not expected may occur.

Resource: Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

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All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.