We're the American Hospital Association (AHA), a national organization of hospitals, health systems and care providers. We help patients and people understand important health issues, addressing vaccine concerns and questions, including those about COVID-19, together.
You have important concerns. Let's address them.
I'm not sure if I still need a COVID vaccine. COVID is still a threat and a new, stronger strain may appear. The easiest and safest way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted. Health care facilities may require everyone you to wear a mask to provide an additional layer of protection against COVID and other viruses.
I'm pregnant (or want to become pregnant soon). Is a COVID vaccine still important? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all pregnant women be vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may protect you from severe illness. Vaccination may also help protect your fetus.
I've already had COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. The vaccine can protect you from severe illness and death. We don't know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.
I’m not sure if my child or teen should get vaccinated. COVID-19 can make children and teens of any age very sick. Some have even died from the virus. COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help protect everyone 6 months and older from COVID-19 and its complications. Vaccinating children and teens can provide greater confidence that childcare, school and other activities can continue as planned. Your pediatrician is the best person to talk to about your questions and concerns.
I'm concerned about long-term side effects. COVID-19 vaccine was created using long-standing vaccine building blocks. The COVID-19 vaccines went through all required stages of approval, and clinicians continue to track any potential side effects. In fact, the COVID-19 vaccines are currently undergoing the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
I'm not sure if the vaccine was made with me in mind. The clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine included a more diverse group of subjects than previous trials for other drugs and vaccines. The population studied closely mirrored ethnic groups in the U.S. population. The trials also studied the vaccine's effect in people with certain chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
I feel like the vaccine was rushed to market. The COVID-19 vaccines were created in record time — but this doesn't mean the process was rushed. There are several reasons why companies were able to produce the vaccines faster than normal, including a head start from previous research on other coronaviruses, decades of vaccine research, collaboration within the scientific community and expedited review.
I don’t understand why boosters are needed? COVID-19 boosters further enhance protection that might have decreased over time after your primary series vaccination. It’s never too late to get the added protection offered by a booster.
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This content was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number CK20-2003). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource do not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS, and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition.