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 Vaccination Is a Safer Way to Build Protection
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.
Recent data suggest COVID-19 vaccines become less effective at preventing infection or severe illness over time, especially for people ages 65 years and older. This is why booster shots are recommended for people ages 12 years and older who have completed their primary vaccination series. However, even as the vaccine’s ability to prevent infection decreases with time, COVID-19 vaccination continues to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death when people become infected with COVID-19.
People who have certain medical conditions or who are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be completely protected even if they completed the primary vaccination series. Some people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an additional primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine and a booster shot.
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.
- Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
- Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
- Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens
- COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Would Like to Have a Baby
- How Do I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine?
- Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines