Is a COVID-19 vaccine approved?
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal agencies have been reviewing information and safety data to approve one or more COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. On Dec. 11, the FDA issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- On December 18, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the second vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The emergency use authorization allows the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
- On February 27, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The EUA allows the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
- On May 10, 2021, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age. The emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. To read more about the emergency use authorization please visit the FDA website here.
For the latest information on the different COVID-19 vaccines please visit the CDC’s website.
Why is it important to consider receiving this vaccine?
These vaccines offer a safe and effective way to slow and potentially stop the toll of this public health crisis. Getting vaccinated will be one of the best ways to protect yourself and your community. A COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from getting sick and potentially prevent you from spreading the virus to those around you. The vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. It is important for each person to carefully weigh all available information to make the most-informed choice about receiving the vaccine.
A vaccine, however, does not replace the need to continue other actions to stop the spread and keep ourselves healthy. This is especially true while we are in the process of administering vaccine, as it will take many months to provide vaccine to everyone who needs it.
Is receiving the vaccine safe? Is there any risk involved with receiving this vaccine?
Like any other vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccines are going through the same rigorous safety standards to assure they are as safe as possible prior to use. This process involves gathering data about the effectiveness and side effects of the vaccines, which are reviewed by multiple federal agencies.
What are the known side effects of the vaccine?
Reported side effects are similar to other important vaccines. Side effects are mild or moderate and include fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and headache. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of COVID-19. For more information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines visit the CDC's website here.
Can I receive the vaccine if I was COVID-19 positive in the past?
Yes, if you have had a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, you can receive the vaccine.
Are there people who shouldn’t get it? (age, immunocompromised, already had COVID-19, etc.)
The COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. The vaccine is not contraindicated in pregnancy and lactating women, however, the data is limited at this time. We recommend a conversation with your physician and review of CDC information to make an informed decision regarding vaccination.
I have previously had an allergic reaction to food, medication or a vaccine. Is it safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you have had a previous severe allergic reaction to food, medication or a vaccine, you should discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with your health care provider.
Am I eligible for the vaccine?
Everyone 12 years of age and older is now recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Children 12 years of age and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
- For more information on finding a COVID-19 vaccine for your child click here.
- All 16 and 17 year olds must have parent/guardian consent
- Vaccines are provided free of charge
- Thousands of vaccines are available daily
To find out the latest information please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website here.
If I receive the vaccine, how long does it take to become fully effective in my system?
The first shot starts building protection. A second shot a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.
How long is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?
We will not know how long immunity lasts until the recipients of the vaccine have been followed over longer periods of time. This will also help determine if booster doses are required.
How are the vaccines that have been developed different from one another?
All of the COVID-19 vaccines are designed to teach your immune system how to fight off the virus. Their differences include their doses; that they are not interchangeable (if you receive the Pfizer vaccine for your first dose, you must receive it for your second dose); and that they require different storage. For example, the Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept in ultra-cold storage.