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Coloradans 16 years and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Find a vaccine provider near you at www.tchd.org/COVIDvaccine
The FDA requires that vaccines undergo a rigorous scientific process, including three phases of clinical trials, before they authorize or approve the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the same safety standards as other vaccine trials.
The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board overseeing Phase 3 trials of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines has not identified or reported any serious safety concerns. All phase 3 studies have Data Safety and Monitoring Boards. The boards are made up of independent scientists hired by the company to look at the safety data and check at regular intervals whether the company should cancel or continue with the study.
Additionally, two independent advisory committees will review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public. These committees are the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which advises the FDA, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the CDC.
You may experience mild to moderate side effects after receiving the vaccine. Side effects typically go away on their own after a few days. The most commonly reported side effects are:
Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site.
Pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection.
Different people may experience different side effects, even if they receive the same vaccine.
The process of building immunity can cause symptoms. These symptoms are normal and show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. Other routine vaccines, like the flu vaccine, have similar side effects.
If you experience discomfort after the first dose of the vaccine, it is very important that you still receive the second dose a few weeks later for full protection.
For in-depth information about the side effects of the vaccines, see the CDC’s report on the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine.
No. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from a vaccine, but you may feel some side effects like fever, chills, and fatigue. The current mRNA vaccines use temporary pieces of genetic code from the virus to stimulate your body’s immune response. This cannot cause COVID-19. The goal of the vaccine is to provide your body with the tools it needs to fight the COVID-19 virus if you were to get infected.
In developing a vaccine for COVID-19, researchers had to work quickly, but not at the risk of anyone’s safety. Medical researchers did not cut any corners or skip any steps. Safety and effectiveness were the top priorities.
The timeline for developing COVID-19 vaccines was possible for several reasons:
Researchers relied on years of previous research in other viruses and vaccines to help inform a vaccine development process for COVID-19.
Everyone involved dedicated all their resources and time to developing a COVID-19 vaccine. This includes research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and philanthropic organizations.
Many governments around the world, including the U.S. government, and private funders invested in the vaccine, which allowed pharmaceutical companies to focus on research right away.
Finally, because of the financial support, researchers were able to conduct different parts of the development process on parallel tracks instead of one after another. Usually, each phase in a clinical trial ends before the next phase begins, with several months to a year or more in between each phase. Because of the emergency presented by the pandemic, researchers developed the vaccines on parallel tracks, meaning that they completed the necessary steps at the same time or with some overlap. No steps were skipped in the process of developing the COVID-19 vaccines.
It is currently unknown how long natural immunity lasts after recovering from COVID-19. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long in some people, and cases of reinfection have been reported. So even if you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you should plan to get a vaccine when it is your turn.
Vaccine allocations are being distributed proportionately based on county population. At this time, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is making all vaccine allocation decisions due to a limited number of available doses and a short turnaround time between when doses are available in the vaccine ordering system and when orders are required to be placed. We anticipate that vaccine allocation may shift to the local level. Enrolled providers are able to communicate directly with the state on anticipated needs; however, there are a limited number of doses available each week.
You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, and you will not need to prove lawful presence to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado. Further, public health will never share your information for any immigration or law enforcement purposes.
Currently, there is no scientific reason or evidence to suggest COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have any effect on fertility. Clinicians and researchers will continue to closely monitor for any issues. Please talk with your doctor about any concerns.
The state is enrolling all vaccine providers. For more information visit the state’s website.