So why do we have to continue to wear masks, social distance, and not have social gatherings?

The only way we can avoid getting and giving COVID-19 to those around us is by achieving herd immunity. If about 75-85% of the population gets the vaccine, we’ll have herd immunity and be safe.

You’ll be able to get a vaccine, but those at higher risk will get theirs first.

Are these vaccines safe?

Short answer: Yes, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are thoroughly tested and approved by the FDA.

Longer answer: 

  • Both vaccines are almost 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID.
  • A small number of people who received the vaccine still get COVID-19. Those people  ended up getting much less sick than those who hadn’t gotten the vaccine.
  • Over 35,000 volunteers have received the approved vaccines during trials, and tens of thousands more have been vaccinated in the past week across the USA. A small number of people who took the vaccine had minor side effects, including mild pain or redness where they got the shot, chills, and/or body aches, similar to how some people feel after the flu shot
  • The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
vaccine phases 1 2 3

After I get the vaccine, can I stop wearing my mask, and be physically close to my friends and family who live outside my household?

Unfortunately, no, not yet. For 2 reasons:

  1. We don’t yet know if getting vaccinated prevents you from getting the virus in your nose (without symptoms) and spreading it to others.
  2. Until about 75-85% of the population receive the vaccine, we won’t have herd immunity.