Now that there are licensed and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, we share 8 things to know about the new COVID-19 vaccination program and COVID-19 vaccines.
1. COVID-19 vaccine safety is the top priority.
The vaccine safety system in the United States ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how partners are working together at the federal level to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines .
CDC created a new tool, v-safe , as an additional safety monitoring measure, to improve our ability to quickly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a new post-vaccination health checker for smartphones that can be installed by people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
2. Vaccination against COVID-19 will help protect you from contracting COVID-19. Two doses should be applied.
Depending on the specific vaccine you receive, you should have a second injection 3-4 weeks after the first to have the maximum protection that the vaccine can offer against this serious disease. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
3. The CDC is developing recommendations on who should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine first if supplies are limited.
To help guide decisions about how to distribute initial limited supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have published recommendations on which groups should be prioritized for vaccination. Learn more about who should get vaccinated first if vaccine supplies are limited.
4. Currently the supply of vaccines against COVID-19 is limited in the United States, but it will increase in the coming weeks and months.
The goal is to make the COVID-19 vaccine easily accessible to everyone as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once more vaccines are available, the plan is for several thousand vaccination providers to offer the COVID-19 vaccine in federally rated doctor's offices, pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers.
5. You may have some side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It is normal, and it is a sign that your body is generating protection.
Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine can look like flu symptoms and could even affect your ability to complete your daily activities, but they should go away within a few days. Learn more about the side effects you may have and access helpful tips to reduce pain and discomfort after you have been vaccinated.
Preparation of vaccination recommendations against COVID-19
CDC develops vaccination recommendations, including recommendations for vaccination against COVID-19, based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Learn more
6. Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Americans will receive vaccine doses purchased with US taxpayer money at no cost. However, vaccine providers may charge a fee to administer the injection. Vaccine providers may be reimbursed for this charge by the patient's public or private insurance company or, in the case of patients without insurance coverage, by the Resource Management Provider Relief Fund.
7. The first COVID-19 vaccine will be used pursuant to an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are many other vaccines in development and clinical trials.
If the FDA authorizes or approves more COVID-19 vaccines, the Advisory Committee on Vaccination Practices (ACIP) will quickly organize public meetings to review all available data on each vaccine and develop recommendations for use in the United States. Learn more about the CDC COVID-19 vaccine recommendation development process.
All vaccines recommended by the ACIP will be included in the United States COVID-19 Vaccination Program. CDC continues to work with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, to create a COVID-19 vaccination program that is flexible and adaptable to different vaccines and situations. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments have created distribution plans to ensure that all recommended vaccines are available to their communities.
8. COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help stop this pandemic.
It is important that we all continue to use all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real life conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around other people, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently.
The CDC will continue to update this information as vaccine recommendations or supplies change.