Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
How will I know when I can get the vaccine? How can I tell which phase I am in?
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign has begun in Minnesota for health care workers; employees and residents of long-term care facilities; frontline essential workers; and people over age 65. Minnesota recently launched a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program and opened community vaccination sites across the state.
Following the pilot to test community vaccination, Minnesota is now standing up two new large-scale, permanent community vaccination sites in Minneapolis and Duluth. These sites will continue to vaccinate people age 65 and older. A third site in southern Minnesota will launch soon and additional sites may launch in the near future. In addition to the two permanent sites, the state is sending doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 100 hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers to administer vaccines to Minnesota seniors.
A new online vaccine locator map will make it easier than ever to find a shot close to you. Minnesotans age 65 and older can use the map to Find Vaccine Locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions. Please note that vaccine supply is still limited, so appointments may not always be available.
Please track the communications from MDH and your county on where and when vaccine will be available for the general public or people in potential high-risk categories. You can also reach out to your physician’s office for information.
Could the COVID-19 vaccine give me Covid?
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States uses the live virus that causes COVID-19. You may have symptoms like a fever after you get a vaccine. This is normal and a sign that your immune system is learning how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about the facts behind COVID-19 vaccines by visiting the CDC website.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The CDC has an independent group of experts that reviews all the safety data as it comes in and provides regular safety updates. If a safety issue is detected, immediate action will take place to determine if the issue is related to the COVID-19 vaccine and determine the best course of action. The FDA and CDC continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.
The CDC has more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety at this website: Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States.
One way everyone can help ensure the continuing safety of the vaccines is to download “V-safe,” which is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. You can learn more here.
I already had COVID-19. Should I still get vaccinated?
Experts say you should still get the vaccine even if you have had Covid-19. There is not enough information currently available to say if, or for how long after infection, someone is protected from getting the virus again. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from Covid-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed.
Can I stop wearing a mask and socially distancing once I have the vaccine?
According to the CDC, you should continue wearing masks and socially distancing. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.