FAQ: About the COVID-19 vaccine
We don’t yet know the full extent of immunity the vaccine confers. Clinical trials have shown that all of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing symptomatic illness — particularly severe illness that would require hospitalization — but that’s all we know. While vaccinated individuals are less likely to develop symptoms of the illness, the vaccine does not prevent asymptomatic infection nor prevent you from transmitting COVID-19 to others.
June 1, 2021
Yes. All currently approved vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Read more: What’s the best COVID-19 vaccine?
March 16, 2021
The most common side effects are pain, redness, and tenderness at the injection site. Other side effects may include fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea and vomiting, and fever. In extremely rare cases, people have experienced severe allergic reactions. Everyone who gets a vaccine is monitored for allergic reactions for at least 15 minutes afterwards. This is the same procedure we follow when an individual gets their first-ever flu vaccine. Before you get the vaccine, let the clinician know if you have any serious allergies.
January 6, 2021
It’s not worth waiting. All three approved vaccines available in the U.S. are safe and highly effective at preventing symptomatic illness. All three are close to 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalization and death. The technology behind the two mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer), was developed at MIT, has earned the Nobel prize, and is well understood and established. Adenovirus vector vaccines, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, have been used for many years and have been proven safe and effective. Vaccines are a critical tool that can help us end the COVID-19 pandemic. The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner we will return to normal life. If you have concerns about the vaccine, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
May 20, 2021
Not in all public settings. In May 2021 the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can resume some activities without wearing a mask. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts currently advises all unvaccinated residents to continue to wear face-coverings in indoor settings and when they are not able to socially distance. The Commonwealth rescinded its face-covering order on May 29, 2021, but will continue to require face coverings in certain locations, including while using public transportation, taxi and ridesharing services, and inside public schools, daycare centers, and healthcare facilities.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, you will need to continue to adhere to state and local regulations and business and workplace rules. Those who work or study on campus are required to continue regular COVID-19 testing and wearing face coverings in indoor public places and in outdoor campus areas when unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
While all three vaccines offer close to 100 percent protection against hospitalization and death, we know they do not prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission. We don’t yet know the full extent of immunity vaccines confer.
According to CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people can resume many of the activities that they did prior to the pandemic “without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
June 1, 2021