COVID-19 Vaccines: Just the facts!

Everyone over age 16 is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine here in Washington state! We know there’s a lot of vaccine information out there, and it can feel overwhelming sorting through it all. Sometimes, it’s even hard to tell what’s true and what’s not.

We’d like to take a moment to address some common questions we hear at DOH to help you make an informed decision about getting the vaccine. But as always, you should talk to your health care provider if you have more questions. They can help you decide what is best for you and your health.

I already had COVID-19 and recovered. Do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you should get the vaccine even if you already had COVID-19.

Data shows it is uncommon to be re-infected with COVID-19 within 90 days after you were infected. That means you might have some protection from COVID-19 (called natural immunity) for at least a little while. But we don’t know how long that natural immunity really lasts. If you only rely on natural immunity for protection, you risk getting sick again and spreading the virus to others. That’s why it’s important to get the vaccine, even if you had COVID-19.

The vaccine is a safe way to get protection from COVID-19. The vaccine makes your immune system create COVID-19 antibodies without making you sick.

If you currently have COVID-19, wait to get the vaccine until you feel better and your isolation period is over.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick?

No. There are three COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized for emergency use in the United States. None of them contain a live form of the virus that causes COVID-19. That means the vaccine will not make you sick with COVID-19.

But it is normal to have side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effects are a sore arm, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain. These usually last a day or two after you get the shot. Side effects are a sign that the vaccine is working. It means your body is building protection against COVID-19. Not everyone will get these side effects, and your body is still building protection even if you feel nothing after your vaccine.

Although side effects from any vaccine are unpleasant, they’re usually mild and don’t last long. They’re also predictable, and you know what to expect after getting your shot. Side effects from vaccines are easier to manage and much less dangerous than getting infected with COVID-19.

What about blood clots from the J & J vaccine?

You may have heard that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was recently paused in the United States and Washington. This was due to the chance of a very rare blood clot that may have been related to the vaccine. More information is coming and we will be sharing it with you.

More to come!

We know there are lots of myths and misinformation going around about COVID-19 and vaccines. And we want to make sure you have all the information you need before you get the shot. Stay tuned for more blog posts with answers to your questions!

In the meantime, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions to get the facts.

More Information

Information in this blog changes rapidly. Sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.

Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at

For more information about the vaccine, visit Check the vaccine locator tool to find out if it’s your turn for the vaccine and see a list of places where you can get it. The COVID-19 vaccine is provided at no cost to you.

WA Notify can alert you if you’ve been near another user who tested positive for COVID-19. Add WA Notify to your phone today:

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact the Department of Health call center at 1–800–525–0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday — Sunday and observed state holidays. Language assistance is available.



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Washington State Department of Health

Washington State Department of Health

Protecting and improving the health of people in Washington State.