Just the facts
Now that there are authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., accurate vaccine information is critical.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development or use contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal of the vaccine is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes the illness. Sometimes this can cause symptoms such as a sore arm or fever, which are normal and a sign the body is building immunity.
It typically takes a few weeks to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible to be infected with the virus before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
None of the currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you currently have the infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of the vaccine, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.
FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from the vaccine
Due to the severe health risks associated with the virus and the fact that re-infection is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with it before. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity varies from person to person.
FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. While many people only have a mild illness, others have severe symptoms. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family and other around you while you are sick. The vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
How do you know which sources of COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate? Visit cdc.gov/vaccines/