What you need to know
- Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines can also help prevent serious illness and death.
- All steps have been taken to ensure that vaccines are safe and effective for people ages 5 years and older.
- If you already had COVID-19, you should still get a COVID-19 vaccine for added protection.
- When you are up to date on COVID-19 vaccination, you can resume many activities with proper precautions (e.g., mask wearing in indoor public spaces).
COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and adults
While COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
A growing body of evidence shows that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. CDC recommends an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) in most circumstances based on an updated risk-benefit analysis.
Before recommending COVID-19 vaccines, including for children ages 5 years and older, scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of adults and children and found no serious safety concerns. Learn more about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for children and teens.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to build protection
Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience sickness.
Getting sick with COVID-19 can have serious consequences.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective
COVID 19-vaccines are effective and can lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines also help prevent serious illness and death in children and adults, even if they do get COVID-19.
Viruses are constantly changing, including the virus that causes COVID-19. These changes occur over time and can lead to the emergence of variants that may have new characteristics. Vaccines continue to reduce a person's risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19. Vaccines are highly effective against severe illness.
COVID-19 vaccination is a more reliable way to build protection
The level of protection people get from having COVID-19 (sometimes called natural immunity) may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age; and there is still not an antibody test available that can reliably determine if a person is protected from further infection.
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19. Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19.
You should get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if you already had COVID-19. Emerging evidence shows that getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 illness provides added protection to your immune system.
Once Up to Date on COVID-19 Vaccination, You Can Start Doing More
When you are up to date on COVID-19 vaccination, you can resume many activities with proper precautions (e.g., wearing a mask while indoors in public spaces).