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About the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are safe and are one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from getting sick from COVID-19 The vaccine doesn’t contain the virus that causes COVID-19, so it can’t make you sick. You may experience mild side effects after getting the vaccine, but this is a sign that your body is learning how to protect you.

Massachusetts has started to vaccinate against COVID-19. Here are a few important things to know:

Right now supplies are severely limited, so Massachusetts is prioritizing who gets the vaccine first. The timeline is made up of 3 phases and prioritized by groups within each phase. The timeline reflects several priorities:

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What you need to know
COVID-19 Vaccine Development

How the Vaccine Works

Vaccines help our immune system fight infections in the future. The COVID-19 vaccine will protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness.  The vaccine will help protect you by teaching your body how to recognize and fight the virus. The vaccine can help keep you from getting COVID-19, but even if you do get the virus, it can keep you from getting very sick.

Two approved COVID-19 vaccines, one from Moderna and one from Pfizer – are given in two doses, about three weeks apart. You need both doses to be fully protected. A third vaccine – Johnson & Johnson – requires only a single dose to be protected. 

It takes a few weeks after the second dose to become fully protected. You may have a sore arm, aches, fatigue, or fever for a few days after getting the vaccine. These symptoms are a sign that your immune system is learning how to protect you from the virus.

The vaccine is safe even though it happened quickly.

We understand the importance of being open and honest about the safety and development of the vaccine— especially for communities who have suffered the consequences of medical mistreatment. The COVID-19 vaccine was developed quickly but all of the same safety steps were followed for this vaccine that are used for all vaccines. 

Since the vaccines were approved, millions of people of different races and ethnicities have been vaccinated, and most have only experienced mild side effects.

Vaccine companies moved quickly because:

 For more information about the COVID-19 Vaccine, please CLICK HERE

*All information on this page is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health*

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