Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are needed?
Answer: Currently both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses of the vaccine to reach full efficacy. Pfizer doses should be 21 days apart and Moderna doses should be 28 days apart.
Question: How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
Answer: COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to people at no cost. However, health care providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the vaccine to someone. This means that you might be asked for your insurance information when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. You can still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you do not have insurance and/or cannot pay the administration fee.
Question: When can I expect immunity after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Answer: After the second dose, it takes about two weeks for your body to build up protection, so it’s about 6 weeks total from the first vaccine dose to when you should be fully protected. It is important to continue to wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and follow other public health recommendations.
Even after those 6 weeks, we know these vaccines are good at preventing people from getting sick, but we don’t have enough data yet to say whether someone who was vaccinated may still spread the disease to others if they get infected with COVID-19. This is another reason why we can’t stop wearing masks or social distancing yet. After 6 weeks, you should continue to follow workplace or schools guidance, including guidance related to wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), like masks and/or face shields, getting tested for COVID-19, and quarantine and isolation requirements.
At this time, we do not know if this will be a vaccine that people need to get again, like needing a tetanus shot every 10 years or getting a flu shot every year.
Question: What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Answer: Some side effects are common after vaccination. After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you will probably have a sore arm and you might have muscle aches, tiredness, headache, or maybe a fever (fever is less common). These side effects usually last one or two days and usually don’t prevent you for going about your daily activities. They are a result of your body responding to the vaccine (it’s also okay if you don’t have any side effects at all).
The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 disease. However, if you have side effects after vaccination that are similar to symptoms of COVID-19 and those symptoms continue or worsen, it is possible that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 before getting the vaccine. Call your health care provider to determine next steps such as getting tested.
Because some of these side effects are similar to COVID-19 symptoms, people working in the health care setting may be given instructions about what to do if symptoms occur.