COVID-19 Vaccination Information and FAQs

COVID-19 Vaccination General Information

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

People aged 5 and older may receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; the details are constantly evolving. Visit the CDC website for details on the various vaccines available.

Who should not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is contraindicated in individuals who have a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine. At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in people ages 5 and older.

I have an allergy to other medications/vaccines; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you have a history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine, you should NOT get vaccinated. If you have a history of severe allergic reaction to another vaccine or injectable medication, you may still receive the COVID-19, but should be monitored for a longer period following administration. For all other situations, you can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine and follow standard monitoring procedure following administration.

I am currently sick; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Whether you have a current COVID-19 infection or other acute illness, it is recommended you wait until your symptoms are resolved before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. There is no minimal time interval between infection and vaccination, but we would recommend you be fever free for at least 24 hours.

Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

If a woman is part of a group who is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and is pregnant or breastfeeding, she may choose to be vaccinated. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss with their healthcare provider prior to administration to evaluate their individual risk.

I am immunocompromised; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, immunocompromised people may receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless otherwise contraindicated. This population is at risk of for severe COVID-19 infections and would benefit from vaccination. There is a potential for the vaccine to be less effective in this population and individuals should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19, including limiting social gatherings and mask wearing.

I have an underlying medical condition; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, a COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions who have no contraindications to vaccination.

I was exposed to COVID-19 recently; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

It is recommended that you wait until your quarantine period has ended to be vaccinated to avoid exposing healthcare personnel and others during the vaccination visit. Special consideration may be made to those living in congregate settings like long-term care facilities and correctional facilities.

I was previously infected with COVID-19; can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you should still be vaccinated against COVID-19. It is unknown how long immunity last following infection, but some research is suggesting immunity could start waning after 90 days. Vaccination is the best way to make sure you are still protected from another COVID-19 infection.

What side effects should I expect?

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. These symptoms typically resolve in one or two days. Side effects were more common following the second dose.

How do I know my symptoms are from the vaccine and not an actual COVID-19 infection?

After a vaccination you may experience side effects such as fever, headache, and muscle aches. These also happen to be symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. With the vaccine, these symptoms should resolve with 1-2 days of onset. If these symptoms last longer than 2 days, you may have a COVID-19 infection. If you have any other symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, these are not from the vaccine and may be symptoms of COVID-19 or another infection. The COVID-19 vaccine WILL NOT give you an infection.