Millions of People Have Safely Received a COVID-19 Vaccine
Over 338 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States from December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021.
What You Need to Know
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
- CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.
Common Side Effects
On the arm where you got the shot:
Throughout the rest of your body:
- Muscle pain
- Chills Fever
Helpful Tips to Relieve Side Effects
Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated. You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.
It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.
To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot
- Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area
- Use or exercise your arm
To reduce discomfort from fever
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Dress lightly
If You Received a Second Shot
Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.
When to Call the Doctor
In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:
- If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
- If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
- Side effects can affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine both need 2 shots in order to get the most protection. You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
- You only need 1 shot of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine to get the most protection. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
- It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.
Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines are safe
- COVID-19 vaccines were developed using science that has been around for decades.
- COVID-19 vaccines are not experimental. They went through all the required stages of clinical trials. Extensive testing and monitoring have shown that these vaccines are safe and effective.
- COVID-19 vaccines have received and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Learn more about how federal partners are ensuring COVID-19 vaccines work.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective
- COVID 19-vaccines are effective. They can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccines also 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.
Once you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing more
- After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic. You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
- People are not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or 2 weeks after a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
- Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination for people with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection
- Get vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.
- Learn more about the clinical considerations for people were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, or history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C).
- COVID-19 is still a threat to people who are unvaccinated. Some people who get COVID-19 can become severely ill, which could result in hospitalization, and some people have ongoing health problems several weeks or even longer after getting infected. Even people who did not have symptoms when they were infected can have these ongoing health problems.
Immunity after COVID-19 vaccination
- There is still a lot we are learning about COVID-19 vaccines and CDC is constantly reviewing evidence and updating guidance. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated.
- What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people.
- If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
- At this time, there are limited data on vaccine effectiveness in people who are immunocompromised, including those taking immunosuppressive medications. Learn more about the considerations for fully vaccinated people who are immunocompromised.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines can make you sick with COVID-19
None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Learn more Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.