The safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority.
Vaccines play an important role in keeping us healthy.
The COVID-19 vaccine will reduce the risk of getting COVID-19 by working with your body’s natural defenses to:
- Recognize the virus that causes COVID-19 and remember how to fight it. If you are then exposed to the virus in the future, your immune system can destroy it before you become sick.
- Produce antibodies. Antibodies are proteins produced naturally by the immune system to fight infection.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first must approve COVID-19 vaccines; as vaccines become available they will be distributed in phases. The first phase will focus on vaccination of health care workers, first responders, and those at highest risk for getting very sick if they get COVID-19. Over time, when more vaccine is available, vaccination will occur as follows:
- Phase 2: Focus will be on providing vaccine to more prioritized populations, including critical infrastructure workers, essential workers, and those at risk for severe illness due to age or chronic health conditions.
- Phase 3: Enough doses for entire population will be available, and focus will be on ensuring equitable vaccination access across the entire population.
It is important to continue to take steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 or giving it to others while we wait for a vaccine and even after a vaccine is available. Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others, practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet, and wash your hands often. Stay home when you are sick or when you have been in contact with others who are sick.