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January 7, 2022

What are the benefits of getting vaccinated for COVID-19?

The answers on this site were developed with and vetted by the CDC

Being up to date with COVID-19 vaccines drastically reduces the likelihood that you will get seriously ill from COVID-19. If you do get infected, vaccines also greatly reduce the chances of dying from the disease. And, if you're vaccinated and do get COVID-19, recent data suggests that you would spread the virus for a shorter time.

Most side effects from the vaccine are mild (redness or swelling of the injection site) and go away within a few days. If you want to know more about COVID-19 vaccine safety, please refer to our “How do we know they’re safe?” FAQ section.

Protecting yourself protects those around you, such as people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. It also helps protect those who can’t get vaccinated, including infants, or people with immune systems weakened by things like chemotherapy for cancer.

More things to know about vaccines (Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center)

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Should I still wear a mask once I’m fully vaccinated?

If you’re fully vaccinated you can start safely doing many activities again. However, new variants are circulating within the United States that are more than twice as contagious as the original COVID virus. Health experts are encouraging all people to wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of “substantial or high transmission”. Wearing a mask in places with higher potential transmission will help protect against all known variants and prevent you from possibly spreading it to others.

If you or someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is not yet vaccinated, or is at increased risk for severe disease, consider continuing to wear a mask anytime you’re around people outside your household. This is regardless of your vaccination status or the level of transmission in your area.

You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance. CDC is continuing to update guidelines as more information becomes available. Visit their website for the latest recommendations.

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated (CDC)
What’s the best way to protect my family this winter?

First and foremost, if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, consider making that choice for yourself and your family. Vaccines offer the strongest protection against COVID-19 and the new variants. Here, you can find available vaccine appointments in your area.

If you have been vaccinated, CDC recommends you utilize self-tests before joining indoor activities with people not in your household, and to continue wearing masks in crowded indoor and outdoor settings.

For all the ways you can protect yourself and your family, please visit the CDC’s page on Activities, Gatherings, & Holidays.

Looking for a vaccine? Visit the Vaccine Finder to get up-to-date information on locations near you.

Other Questions You Might Have