Why does UW Health recommend that patients receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

We care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our patients and community. Vaccination is the best tool we have available to reduce the harmful impact of COVID-19. Vaccines help prevent serious illness from COVID-19 that could lead to hospitalization or even death. Receiving the vaccine protects you and the people around you.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have been well-studied and proven safe. Side effects are very rare and much less severe than the short and long-term health problems caused by COVID-19. The benefits of receiving a vaccine far outweigh any risks.

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be highly effective at preventing serious illness and death.

What are the most common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines?

Side effects are normal and are more common after your second dose. Side effects are a sign that your immune system is building up protection to the disease. Possible side effects include:

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Muscle pain

  • Chills

  • Joint pain

  • Headache

Can I get COVID-19 from a vaccine?

No. A vaccine cannot give you a COVID-19 infection.

I have had COVID-19. Why do I need to get the vaccine?

The level of protection from a COVID-19 infection varies and lessens over time. Some people do get COVID-19 more than once. The vaccine protection is far better and longer lasting than the immune protection after infection.

You should wait to get the vaccine until you are symptom-free and it has been at least 10 days since the start of your symptoms.

I received the monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as part of COVID-19 treatment. How long should I wait to get the vaccine?

You should wait at least 90 days after you finished your treatment to get the vaccine, so that you will have a full protective response.

How long after getting the vaccine will I develop immunity?

It takes time for your body to build an immune response after you get the vaccine. Your immunity will develop within 1-2 weeks after completing your vaccine series. Make sure you complete both doses if you receive Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

What is the difference between a third dose and a booster?

Third doses are for immunosuppressed patients. They need more doses of vaccine to achieve the same levels of immunity as healthy people. Third doses are given 28 days after the second dose.

Boosters help extend your immunity. Over time, it is common for your immune response to weaken after some vaccines. Boosters are given later to “remind” the immune system to continue to maintain protective levels against infection. Talk to your healthcare provider or visit uwhealth.org/vaccine for more guidance on boosters.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 vaccines?

Talk to your healthcare provider or visit website for answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines.