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July 20, 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
If you’re ready to get vaccinated, get up-to-date information on locations near you.

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What if I have an underlying health condition?

People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, vaccination is especially important for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Ask your doctor if you have specific questions.

If you have a weakened immune system from a medical condition or medications, you should talk to your healthcare provider. They may recommend continuing to take certain precautions even after you are vaccinated to minimize the risk of infection.

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

More about underlying conditions (CDC)
What should I know about vaccines and pregnancy?

CDC and the FDA have safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and are closely monitoring that information. Preliminary data did not identify any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated, or for their babies.

Recent reports have shown that people who have received COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during pregnancy—mostly during their third trimester—have passed antibodies to their fetuses, which could help protect them after birth. There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. There is also no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of any FDA-authorized vaccine. Like with all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects and will report findings as they become available.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you’re pregnant and considering whether or not to get vaccinated, talk to your primary care provider or OB-GYN first. A conversation between your doctor/clinician can help you decide whether to get vaccinated.

Myths and facts about COVID-19 (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 people from getting seriously ill even if they 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 experiencing different combinations of symptoms such as tiredness or fatigue, difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”), headache, 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 regardless of whether 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—although 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)
What should I know about vaccines and Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

CDC and FDA are monitoring reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in people who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Such cases have not been reported in 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. With more than 12 million Johnson and Johnson doses administered, there have been around 100 preliminary 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 monitor for and evaluate reports of GBS occurring after the Johnson and Johnson vaccination.

You should seek medical attention right away if you develop any of the following symptoms after receiving the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine:

  • Weakness or tingling sensations, 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)