Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
How will I know when I can get the vaccine?
All Minnesotans age 12 and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Minnesotans who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to sign up for the Vaccine Connector, which sends updates on vaccine opportunities and now allows users to directly schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the state’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program locations. These sites are strategically located around the state to give Minnesotans another option to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more at Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector webpage.
Minnesotans can also contact their healthcare provider, local pharmacy or use the Vaccine Locator Map to search for vaccine providers in their area.
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 approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals age 16 and older. The FDA has also granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson 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. A CDC study published in August 2021 showed that unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus.
Can I stop wearing a mask and socially distancing once I have the vaccine?
If you are fully vaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission, in order to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others. In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings, but you should consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. You can learn more about CDC recommendations for when you’ve been fully vaccinated here.