COVID-19 Vaccine

HHS Vaccine Update January 3 2022


What vaccines are approved? 

Three COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson). The Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval for people 16 and older. The Moderna vaccine has received full FDA approval for people 18 and older.

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals aged 5 years and older. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for people 18 and older.

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose? 

More information on booster eligibility can be found on CDC's website.

An extensive network of vaccine providers are administering the COVID-19 primary series vaccinations and boosters, including pharmacies, health care systems, and community clinics. Individuals do not need to get their booster dose at the same location they received their initial series. Vaccination locations can be found via the Minnesota Vaccine Connector.

How do we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective?

COVID-19 vaccine development requirements are the same as for all other vaccines. Experts from federal agencies, including the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), review the information collected during the vaccine manufacturers’ testing process to determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective.

Experts continue tracking vaccine safety information once vaccines are given in real-life conditions to make sure they are working as expected.

If I have had a lab confirmed case of COVID-19 should I still get vaccinated?

Yes, people who had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. This is because COVID-19 is a new disease, so:

  • We do not know if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again (how long they are immune).
  • Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19.

Will the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations protect me from new strains of COVID-19?

Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson continue to run tests but all manufacturers believe that their vaccines are effective against the new variants of COVID-19. 

Are there any side effects from getting the vaccine?

The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects are most likely to occur one or two days after getting the vaccine. Although most people will not have significant side effects, some people may wish to schedule their vaccination to allow for a day or two of rest afterward. Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are a sign that your immune system is working well.

Can I get vaccinated if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect your fertility?

Currently no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men.

Learn more: 

Do I have to get two doses of vaccine?

Two doses are needed for the two COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The time between the doses depends on the vaccine you are getting. The Pfizer vaccine must be given 21 days (3 weeks) apart and the Moderna vaccine must be given 28 days apart (1 month/4 weeks).

It is very important that someone gets both vaccine doses, the same product for each dose, and that the doses are given at the correct time apart. The vaccine is only fully effective with both doses of the vaccine. If someone only gets one dose, they may not be protected (immune) against COVID-19. It is okay if you get the vaccine within four days of the 21 or 28-day mark (depending on which vaccine you get).

Will I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No, there are no live viruses in the COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. However, by getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself from getting a severe case of COVID-19.

How much does a COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine itself is free. (The federal government has pre-paid for doses for all Americans.) By law, healthcare systems and clinics are allowed to charge vaccine administration fees and/or clinic visit fees. These fees will likely be covered by your insurance. If you receive your vaccine at a community clinic offered by Nicollet County Health and Human Services, your insurance will not be charged for an administration fee. 

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?