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COVID-19 vaccine latest updates

Basic facts

We all have our own reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine: to protect ourselves, to keep our family and friends safe, and to get back to the things we miss from before COVID-19.

Before you get the vaccine, it’s important to get your questions answered. You can find answers about safety, how the vaccine works, and when and where to get the vaccine.

Until everyone in Oregon gets the vaccine, it’s safest to keep wearing a mask, stay 6 feet apart, and keep gatherings small and outdoors whenever possible. We will get through this together.


Question: Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Answer: Yes. All of the COVID-19 vaccines that are being given in Oregon are safe for everyone, even if you’re pregnant. The vaccines have been tested with thousands of people around the world. Black, Indigenous, Latino/a and people of color have chosen to be part of these tests to make sure the vaccines are safe for their communities. These tests have shown that all of the vaccines are safe, and they work to keep most people from getting sick with COVID-19.

Question: How do the vaccines work?

Answer: Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine teaches your body how to fight the virus. The vaccine is given as a shot to the upper arm. For some kinds of the vaccine, you will need to get more than one shot. Your second shot will be 3 or 4 weeks after your first. It is important for you to get both shots for the vaccine to work.

Question: Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

Answer: No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Question: Are there any side effects?

Answer: Some people feel some mild side effects. This is normal and the symptoms should go away in a few days. You may have a sore spot on your arm where you got the shot. Some people may also feel tired or have a fever for a few days. This doesn’t mean you are sick. It means the vaccine is working to help your body build protection from getting sick with COVID-19.

Question: Do I have to pay for the vaccine?

Answer: No, the vaccine is free for everyone, even if you don’t have health insurance.

Question: Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to get the vaccine?

Answer: Everyone can get the COVID-19 vaccine, no matter your immigration status. You may be asked for information such as your name and phone number when you get the vaccine, but that information is private and won’t be shared with anyone. It is important for everyone who lives in Oregon to get the vaccine.

Question: What is “herd immunity?”

Answer: You may hear people talk about “community immunity” or “herd immunity.” When you get the COVID-19 vaccine, your body is able to fight the virus. This is called “immunity.” Community immunity happens when enough people have gotten the vaccine to stop the spread of the virus, protecting the whole community. At least 7 out of every 10 people in Oregon will have to get the vaccine before we can reach community immunity. Until then, it’s safest to keep wearing a mask and keeping groups small even after you get the vaccine, to make sure we are all protected.

Question: What is the difference between the different COVID-19 vaccines that are available?

Answer: Several manufacturers have produced safe and effective FDA-authorized vaccines. All of the vaccines have been tested for safety, and all of them are proven to be very effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations.

None of the vaccines contain live COVID-19 virus, so you can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccines.

More information about the different vaccines is available on the CDC website in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese.