Deciding to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Overview

It's important to know the facts about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some details to help you learn more.

What are the benefits?

Getting the vaccine

  • The vaccine protects you from getting very sick or dying from COVID-19. If you get COVID-19, your symptoms will probably be less severe than if you hadn't gotten the vaccine.
  • Even though there is a risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 after you're up to date on your vaccines, the vaccine does help protect others around you. This includes people who are more likely to get very sick or die from COVID-19. If you get the virus, you could spread it to friends, family, and other people in your community who are at high risk. This can happen even if you don't have symptoms. So getting the vaccine can help save lives.
  • When more people get vaccinated, the disease is less likely to spread.

Not getting the vaccine

  • Without the vaccine, you will be less protected from getting very sick or dying from the virus. And you won't be keeping others safe or helping your community.
  • Without the vaccine, you'll be less protected from other problems caused by getting COVID-19. This includes long-term health problems. It also includes missing work, school, or other events. And it includes the cost of care if you get seriously ill.

How safe is it?

Getting the vaccine

  • The vaccine is safe and effective. It's been given to billions of people. Scientists made sure the vaccine was tested for many people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, and for people with different health issues.
  • You cannot get COVID-19 by getting the vaccine.

Not getting the vaccine

  • Without protection from the vaccine, if you get COVID-19, your risk of serious illness, long-term health problems, or dying will be much higher.

What are the side effects and risks?

Getting the vaccine

  • You may have some side effects after getting the vaccine. This is normal. It means that your body is building protection against COVID-19.
  • Side effects may include a fever, soreness, and feeling very tired.
  • The risk of serious problems is very low. Serious allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare. And they can be treated if they do happen. The risk of other problems is also very low. There are different vaccines to choose from. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.

Not getting the vaccine

  • If you don't get the vaccine, you'll be at much higher risk of getting seriously ill, having long-term health problems, or even dying from COVID-19.
  • For most people, symptoms of COVID-19 are much worse than side effects from the vaccine.

The benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the potential risks.

Credits

Current as of: October 28, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.