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September 27, 2021

Who should get vaccinated for COVID-19?

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

In the United States, everyone age 12 and over is currently eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. CDC recommends that everyone in this group get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can.

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also help keep people from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19.

Tyeese Gaines -- Why Get The Vax | COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative
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What if I have an underlying health condition?

People with underlying health conditions can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA. Vaccination is especially important for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. They are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. For people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems, an extra booster shot may be recommended.

Examples of individuals with compromised immune systems that are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 include — but are not limited to — people:

  • being treated for tumors and blood cancers;
  • who have received organ transplants;
  • with advanced or untreated HIV infection;
  • with diseases such as DiGeorge syndrome and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

If you have a weakened immune system from a health condition or medications, you should talk to your doctor. They may recommend you keep taking certain precautions even after you are vaccinated to minimize the risk of infection.

People who have autoimmune conditions and who have previously had Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy may receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

People with Certain Medical Conditions (CDC)
What should I know about vaccines and pregnancy?

COVID-19 vaccination is currently recommended for everyone 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

Information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is growing and being carefully studied. Findings suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people, which means getting vaccinated is even more important for these groups.

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding (CDC)
Should young adults get vaccinated?

CDC recommends that everyone age 12 and older in the United States get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.

Although most people who contract COVID-19 get better within weeks to months of illness, some do not. CDC and experts around the world are working to learn more about short- and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19, who gets them, and why. People with “long COVID” report different types of symptoms such as tiredness or fatigue, difficulty thinking or concentrating which is sometimes referred to as “brain fog”, headaches, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste.

More on long term effects of COVID-19
Should I get a vaccine if I have had COVID-19?

Yes, health experts recommend getting vaccinated whether or not you have already had COVID-19. At this time, experts are still learning how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible, but rare, that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, talk to your doctor about when you should get vaccinated.

Benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine (CDC)
Dr Jose Mayorga MD
What should I know about vaccines and Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

CDC and FDA are monitoring reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Such cases have not been reported after the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines.

GBS is a very rare disorder where the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. More than 12 million doses of Johnson and Johnson have been given, with around 100 initial reports of GBS. These cases have largely been reported about 2 weeks after vaccination and mostly in men, many 50 years and older. Public health experts will continue to evaluate reports of GBS after the Johnson and Johnson vaccination.

You should seek medical attention right away if you develop any of the following symptoms after getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine:

  • A weakness or tingling sensation, especially in the legs or arms, that’s worsening and spreading to other parts of the body
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty with facial movements, including speaking, chewing, or swallowing
  • Double vision or inability to move eyes
  • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination (CDC)

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