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COVID-19 Vaccine

Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Covid-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants for clinical trials. The vaccine is free.

“THE CONVERSATION: Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines”

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ’s

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19.

That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. People are considered fully protected two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Yes. Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Covid-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants for clinical trials. This included 10% of African Ancestry people participating for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trials, and 10% for the Moderna vaccine trials. Additionally, Historic Black Colleges and Universities are participating in Covid-19 vaccine trials and encouraging participation among African Ancestry communities.

Yes. One may experience mild to moderate side effects after receiving the vaccine. Side effects typically go away on their own after a few days. The most commonly reported side effects are:

  • Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site.
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Chills.
  • Joint pain.
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Fever.

Different people may experience different side effects, even if they receive the same vaccine.

The process of building immunity can cause symptoms. These symptoms are normal and show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. Other routine vaccines, like the flu vaccine, have similar side effects.

It’s important to know that vaccine providers may have varying amounts of vaccine during any given week. Vaccine providers are working as fast as they can to set up appointments for when they have the vaccine. Note that these locations are not open for walk-in appointments. They should be contacted directly for more information.
The vaccine is free. Providers should not ask you to pay for the vaccine or other administrative costs, regardless of your insurance status. If you have insurance, the provider may seek reimbursement from your health insurance company for these fees, but you should not be charged.
  • When you can get the vaccine will depend on where you fall in California’s vaccination phases. To find out when you will be eligible for a vaccine, see California’s current phased plan here.
  • We expect it may take several months before everyone who wants a vaccine can get one because of limited supply from the federal government. 
  • The state expects to receive weekly vaccine shipments from the federal government, but it will depend on the national supply chain. We may adjust the timelines for distribution throughout the process. 
  • Because supplies are limited, vaccine distribution, availability, and vaccination locations will look different in each county. 

Yes. We’re still learning about the level of immunity that the vaccine provides, but so far the vaccines have only been proven to protect you from symptomatic COVID-19 disease. You might still be able to have an asymptomatic infection (showing no symptoms) and be able to spread the virus to others after you have been vaccinated.

Until we know for certain, it is important to continue taking COVID-19 precautions. Continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. That is the best way to help protect your loved ones who have not yet had the opportunity to get the vaccine.

No. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from a vaccine, but you may feel some side effects like fever, chills, and fatigue. The current COVID-19 vaccines use temporary pieces of genetic code from the virus to stimulate your body’s immune response. This cannot cause COVID-19. The goal of each vaccine is to provide your body with the tools it needs to fight the COVID-19 virus if you were to get infected.

In developing a vaccine for COVID-19, researchers had to work quickly, but not at the risk of anyone’s safety. Medical researchers did not cut any corners or skip any steps. Safety and effectiveness were the top priorities.

The timeline for developing COVID-19 vaccines was possible for several reasons. But one important reason was:

  • Researchers relied on years of previous research in other viruses and vaccines to help inform a vaccine development process for COVID-19.

It is currently unknown how long natural immunity lasts after recovering from COVID-19. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long in some people, and cases of reinfection have been reported. So even if you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you should plan to get a vaccine when it is your turn.


If you had a COVID-19 infection, CDC says you may wait a few months after your infection before getting the vaccine as re-infection risk is low during this time. However, you may choose to get the vaccine earlier than that as long as you have recovered from your infection.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from this Deadly Virus.

Even people without symptoms can be contagious. Get tested. It’s free.

To get tested, contact your doctor or local public health department.

COVID-19 Facts

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