NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) – The Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) collaborates against COVID-19 Disparities and works closely with the communities hit hardest by COVID-19. Below are questions from the community:
Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?
No. The vaccines being used to prevent COVID-19 in the United States can’t infect someone with the virus that causes COVID-19. None of the vaccines contain whole or live SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting vaccinated helps protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without getting you sick.
People who join ongoing vaccine trials may be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in their everyday lives, but not as a part of the vaccine research.
The process for making a COVID-19 vaccine seemed to move really fast. How can I be sure the vaccines being used are safe and effective?
Every vaccine available to the public goes through a complete review and evaluation for safety and effectiveness by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before being authorized or approved. If the evidence shows a potential vaccine isn’t safe or effective, it will not be used.
The SARS-CoV-2 vaccines being used have moved through all the required phases of testing, review, and evaluation faster than a typical drug or vaccine because:
1. What we already knew about other coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2 gave us a head start. COVID-19 vaccines were developed based on decades of existing research about other coronaviruses.
2. Researchers, the federal government, and drug companies came together like never before to focus, cooperate, and share resources to create a vaccine. This kind of large-scale effort has helped make completing the different phases of testing more efficient.
Why should I get a vaccine for COVID-19?
1. COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
2. COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection. COVID-19 can cause serious, life-threatening health problems, 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. While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection or immunity, the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 is far greater than any benefits of natural immunity.
3. COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting vaccinated and continuing to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for mask-wearing, hand-washing, and physical distancing will offer the best protection from COVID-19 for yourself and others
When can I get a vaccine?
A vaccine is only made available after data from clinical trials with large groups of people are reviewed by the FDA, the agency that makes sure standards for safety and effectiveness are met.
Keep in touch with your health care providers or local health department to find out when a vaccine will be available to you.
Learn more about when the vaccine will be available to you on the CDC’s website or visit https://covid19community.nih.gov/