Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Don’t worry, many people do. We can help you get the answers you need to make the decision that is right for you.
COVID-19 vaccine facts for young adults
Myths vs. Facts
Table of Contents
Can getting a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. (source: Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | cdc.gov). Therefore, if you test positive for COVID-19, even if you have gotten the vaccine, you would need to isolate.
How was the vaccine developed so quickly?
The timeline to develop a COVID-19 vaccine was sped up but never cut corners on safety. Here is how:
- We already had helpful information: The COVID-19 virus is a part of a coronavirus family that has been studied for a long time. Experts learned important information from other coronavirus outbreaks that helped them to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, so we weren’t starting from scratch.
- Governments funded vaccine research: The United States and other governments invested a lot of money to support vaccine companies with their work. Working together with other countries also helped researchers move quickly.
- A lot of people participated in clinical trials: Many people wanted to help by being in the vaccine studies. Companies didn’t need to spend time finding volunteers.
- Manufacturing happened at the same time as safety studies: Vaccine companies were able to make and store doses of vaccine at the same time as studies (called clinical trials) were happening to show that the vaccines were safe and effective. This meant vaccines were ready to be distributed once they were approved.
Can receiving a COVID-19 vaccine cause you to be magnetic?
No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.
Learn more about the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States.
Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines shed or release any of their components?
No. Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body. Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. contain a live virus. mRNA and viral vector vaccines are the two types of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines available.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect menstrual cycles?
Maybe. Some people have reported changes in their menstruation after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including changes in duration, flow, and severity of cramps. Studies have shown that some women who had the COVID-19 virus have experienced changes in the duration and flow of their menstrual cycles.
Because increased stress, changes in weight and exercise, and other major lifestyle changes can affect menstrual cycles — all common changes during the COVID-19 pandemic — more research is needed. Ongoing studies are focused on menstruation before and after vaccination, how the vaccine affects menstruation, and the influence of other factors, such as stress, on these menstrual changes.
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years of age or older, including people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners.
Currently no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and people who would like to have a baby.
Can someone who is currently pregnant or breastfeeding get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. The CDC and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. COVID-19 infection during pregnancy increases the risk of severe illness and preterm birth. Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. Data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or possible risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
Getting vaccinated is a personal choice for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have questions, discuss vaccination with your healthcare provider.
How do I know which COVID-19 vaccine information sources are accurate?
Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis.
CDC’s vaccines and immunization web content is researched, written and approved by subject matter experts, including physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, and analysts. Content is based on peer-reviewed science. CDC leadership makes the final decision on the words, images and links to best serve the information needs of the public as well as healthcare providers, public health professionals, partners, educators, and researchers. Science and public health data are frequently updated. Most pages are reviewed yearly.
CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) is a member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Vaccine Safety Net and follows web content and credibility criteria defined by the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS).
As you surf for vaccine information, consider guidance from these sources:
- The Immunization Action Coalition suggests questions you should ask.
- The National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) suggests questions to ask when evaluating information.
- The University of California San Francisco’s Evaluating Health Information page lists “Red Flags” every consumer needs to know.
- The Medical Library Association translates medical jargon (Medspeak) into language everyone can understand.
- While it’s a useful tool for researching health-related issues, the Internet does not replace a discussion with a healthcare professional.
What is an Emergency Use Authorization? How is what that different than FDA approval?
Creating a new vaccine can sometimes take years, but COVID-19 vaccines were developed and distributed quicky and safely through Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). EUA is faster than the traditional FDA-approval process while still thoroughly evaluating vaccine data, risks and benefits.
In order to use the EUA process, all vaccines still had to meet rigorous standards set by the FDA, carefully balancing the potential risks and benefits of the products based on the data currently available. Three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
When the FDA approves a drug, like Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, it means the agency has determined, based on substantial evidence, that the drug is effective for its intended use, and that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
What are the chances that a person will contract COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated?
We’re still tracking the data, but we know that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection, serious illness, and death. Most people who get COVID-19 are unvaccinated. However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19. An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a “breakthrough infection.”
What we know about vaccine breakthrough infections
- Breakthrough infections are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections. However, like most vaccines, they are not 100% effective.
- Fully vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19.
- Even when fully vaccinated people develop symptoms, they tend to be less severe symptoms than in unvaccinated people. This means they are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people who are not vaccinated.
- People who get vaccine breakthrough infections can be contagious.
CDC is collecting data on vaccine breakthrough infections and closely monitors the safety and effectiveness of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. As the number of people who are fully vaccinated goes up, the number of breakthrough infections will also increase. However, the risk of infection remains much higher for unvaccinated than vaccinated people. Vaccines remain effective in protecting most people from COVID-19 infection and its complications.
What is the risk to me if I don’t choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
People who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk of becoming very sick or dying if they contract COVID-19. According to CDC studies:
- Unvaccinated people are about 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated people are nearly five times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
- Unvaccinated Americans are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19.
Ready to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Step 1: Find a location and schedule your appointment
Use VaxFinder.mass.gov to search for a vaccine appointment near you.
Step 2: Learn how to prepare for your appointment and what you need to bring with you.
You will never be asked for a credit card number to make an appointment.
If you have questions, call 2-1-1 or try our Vaccine Chat on this page.
Looking for more information? Check out some more frequently asked questions about the COVID vaccine below:
- Why the COVID-19 Vaccine is safe
- What to know before you decide to get vaccinated
- What to expect during your vaccine appointment
- What to expect after your vaccine appointment
More resources from CDC:
Thanks, your survey has been submitted to the Mass.gov team!
If you would like to continue helping us improve Mass.gov, join our user panel to test new features for the site.