The COVID-19 vaccine is our best shot at stopping the pandemic. We encourage you to get the vaccine once it’s available to you.
Here are a few reasons why.
It’s effective. The COVID-19 vaccines available right now in the U.S., Pfizer and Moderna, have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. The vaccines have a reported 94% to 95% effectiveness rate—a beacon of hope as we work to end the pandemic. For perspective, the FDA recommends a vaccine have an effectiveness rate of at least 50%, and the influenza vaccine effectiveness is around 30-50% effective. Data from clinical trials, plus what we already know about vaccines for other diseases, indicate that even if you do get COVID-19, the vaccine may help prevent severe illness.
It’s safe. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To receive an EUA, the benefits of a vaccine must outweigh its risks. Before a vaccine receives approval for use, clinical trials must first show it’s safe and effective – including COVID-19 vaccines. Reports from the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials have not indicated any serious safety concerns. Both trials had fully independent safety monitoring boards. In most cases, serious side effects become apparent early (usually less than 40 days) after receiving a vaccine. Short- and long-term monitoring of those who receive the vaccine will continue.
It’s better to receive immunity from a COVID-19 vaccine than risk severe illness and death from the virus. We don’t yet know how long immunity lasts post-infection — and some who recover from COVID-19 have no detectable antibodies, meaning they have no immunity protection. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses. Some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months. When you get the COVID-19 vaccine, this will help protect you by creating an immune system response without having to get sick first. And, the vaccine may also help protect people around you.
We believe a vaccine is a light at the end of the tunnel. But we still must practice the 3Ws as we wait for everyone to get the vaccine. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Watch your distance.
We’re spotlighting all your frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about why it’s our best shot.
Information adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).