Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Below is a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on what we currently know. 


COVID-19 Vaccination Benefits 

  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.

  • Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 

  • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.


Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine  

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. 

  • Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). 

  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. Experts do not know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.

  • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

What to Expect at your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment

  • You should receive a fact sheet that tells you more about the vaccine that you are getting.

  • You should receive a vaccination card or print out that tells you which vaccine you received, the date you received, and where you received it.

  • If this is your first shot, you should be told what date you need to come back to get your second shot.  Both shots are needed to be protected.

  • You should receive information regarding V-safe, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide free, personalized health check-ins after you receive your vaccination.  It will also remind you to get your second dose.

  • Some people may experience mild side effects.  This is an indication that your immune system is responding to the vaccine.  You should still get your second dose unless your vaccination provider or doctor tells you otherwise.

Been vaccinated?  Enroll in CDC’s After Vaccination Health Checker: V-safe.  V-safe is a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide free, personalized health check-ins after you receive your vaccination.

Want a free text reminder for your second dose?  Use VaxText!  Text ENROLL to 1-833-VaxText (829-8398).  VaxText will send a text reminder for your second dose.  Available in English and Spanish.


Stopping the Pandemic 

  • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce exposure to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

  • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.