Benefits of Getting the Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19. The vaccine works to build up your immune system, allowing your body to fight off the virus if you are exposed. In addition, getting vaccinated yourself may help you protect people around you, especially those who are high risk. However, it will still be important to wear a face covering, social distance, and wash your hands until more is learned about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to build protection. While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection (known as immunity), experts are unsure how long this protection lasts. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune system response without having to experience sickness. Both vaccines have shown to be highly effective.
COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Getting vaccinated will help us all get back to a normal life.
What You Need to Know
When and how do I get the vaccine?
The vaccine is now available to the general public, age 16 and over. The Pfizer vaccine is now available for ages 12 and over. To find a vaccine clinic near you, click here.
Which vaccine will I get?
Is the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine safe?
YES. Blood clots from this vaccine happened in 6 women out of the 6.8 million people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Getting COVID-19 causes a greater risk of clotting in the brain compared to vaccinated people.
How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is free. You cannot be turned away because of an inability to pay or lack of health coverage.
What personal information do I have to provide? Do I need to bring my ID in order to get the vaccine?
Like other routine vaccinations, you will need to share some personal information when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. No form of identification, employment or insurance verification is required to get the vaccine.
Can anyone get the vaccine?
The vaccine is available to anyone who is interested and medically able. Information collected, such as name, date of birth, race, and ethnicity, and contact information, is only used for health purposes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, and you will not need to provide any form of identification or documentation to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado.
What should I expect before, during, and after vaccination?
- Talk to your provider and see if COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for you right now.
- Wear a mask to your appointment.
- Call if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 before your appointment.
When You Get Vaccinated
- You and your healthcare worker will both need to wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Stay 6 feet away from others while inside.
- You will be provided with a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.
- You will receive a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you got with information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine.
- You will be provided information about how to sign up for V-Safe. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
- After you receive the vaccine, you will be asked to wait 15 minutes before leaving to make sure you do not experience any allergic reactions to the shot.
- You will also be scheduled for your second dose of the vaccine before you leave.
- Please continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands.
- With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots in order for them to work. If you are told you need two shots, make sure you come back for your scheduled second dose.
- It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot. Please allow up to a week or two for the single dose vaccine to take effect.
Common side effects include:
The potential side effects below mean the vaccine is helping your body learn how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, side effects will last no longer than one to two days. Having these types of side effects does NOT mean that you have COVID-19.
On the arm where you got the shot:
Throughout the rest of your body:
There is a very small chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction usually occurs within a few minutes to one hour after getting the vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face and throat
- A fast heartbeat
- A bad rash all over your body
- Dizziness and weakness.
Blood clots in the brain, abdomen, and legs have occurred in some people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These symptoms began about one to two weeks after vaccination. Most people who developed blood clots were females ages 18 through 49 years. The chance of having this occur is very small. You should receive medical attention right away if you have any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg swelling
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
- Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.
Click here to learn more about what to expect after getting the vaccine.<>
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. All the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years. This system is in place across the entire country and allows the CDC to watch for safety issues and make sure vaccines stay safe.
Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
If I had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
For most people, Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. The vaccines currently available are very effective in preventing illness two weeks after getting the second dose. Of the people who have received the vaccine, few have gotten sick. Those that have, had milder symptoms than those who got sick without the vaccine.
Do I still need to wear a mask after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Right now, experts don’t know how long the vaccine will protect you, so it’s a good idea to keep wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you do not live with.
Do I really need the second shot?
Yes. The first shot gets your body ready. The second shot is given at least three weeks later to make sure you have full protection. If you are told you need two shots, make sure that you get both of them.