What You Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccinations
COVID-19 vaccinations have been approved and administered in the United States. The question now arises, “Is the vaccine right for me… my family… my children?” We understand you may have reservations or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccination, and that is why accurate vaccine information is more critical than ever.
One important thing to remember is that we all need vaccines throughout our lives to help protect against serious diseases. Our vaccination history traces back to our early childhood, all the way up to our adolescent and older years of life. Immunization is the best protection against serious diseases for ourselves and the most vulnerable to illness – infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems. Therefore, the CDC and FDA take many steps to make sure vaccines are very safe.
The newly approved and administered COVID-19 vaccinations have undergone extensive processes and procedures, similar to the vaccines we already safely and effectively administer. Rest assured, the safety of vaccine recipients remains the top priority for those creating and distributing the COVID-19 vaccinations. The COVID-19 vaccinations are an essential tool for your health and to help stop the pandemic we currently face. Therefore, we highly recommend and encourage getting your vaccine as soon as it is available to you.
Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19? No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test? No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine? Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19? Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA? No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day? Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Fully Vaccinated People
People are considered fully vaccinated:
2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
What hasn't changed:
You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household, and visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk.
You should still avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
COVID-19 Vaccine for San Bernardino County
Vaccinations began in December 2020 and San Bernardino is currently in Phase 1B - Tier 1. Find up-to-date information on the Vaccination Roadmap for SB County here.
San Bernardino County's risk level is still Substantial. Our risk level can reduce and hopefully transition into moderate and eventually minimal if our county continues to get vaccinated and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccination
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Guidelines