After Your COVID-19 Vaccination


What happens after you get a COVID-19 vaccine injection? Here's what you need to know.

After the first shot

First, if you've received the first shot of a two-shot vaccine, you're not yet immune. You still need to follow all the safety steps you've been following. So wear a mask. Wash your hands often. Avoid groups of people. And maintain social distancing.

After the second shot

After your second shot, your immune system will soon be able to protect you from the virus. But building these defenses takes a week or two. And keep in mind vaccines are not 100 percent effective. There's a chance you could still get the virus and pass it to others. So follow your local safety guidelines until health officials say you can stop.

Vaccine information sheet

You'll also be given a sheet with important info about your vaccine. Be sure to read it carefully, and follow all of the instructions.

Side effects

How will you feel after getting a shot? Your arm may feel sore. You may have symptoms like a mild fever, headache and body aches. You may feel tired. These are all normal reactions. Even though they aren't pleasant, they're much easier to deal with than the symptoms of the virus.

How long will protection last?

How long will a vaccine protect you? We don't yet know. Health officials are studying vaccinated people to find out. But we do know that if most people get vaccinated now, we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.