The Facts

There is no shortage of information about the COVID-19 vaccines, but to get you started we answer frequently asked questions and offer our curated list of resources below.

What are the approved COVID-19 vaccines?

As of now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) for emergency use. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer a comparison of these products, and the FDA provides further information. All three vaccines have proven highly effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death within weeks of the first dose.

Are the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?

According to experts, the vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 because they do not contain a live virus. Furthermore, it has been widely reported that all three vaccines are highly effective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death within weeks of the first dose. Learn more.

As the CDC explains, the COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in the United States are safe and effective for most people, although some may experience temporary side effects. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines’ safety and efficacy.

The CDC provides more specific guidance for individuals with underlying medical conditions. The CDC also offers recommendations about the vaccine for people with disabilities.

Can children younger than 16 receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Not yet. Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and up, while those from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for ages 18 and up. Both Pfizer and Moderna recently began clinical trials in children as young as 12, and Johnson & Johnson will soon start trials with infants and pregnant women. The FDA will review the data once these trials are completed, but the process can take some time. Children with high-risk medical conditions may become eligible sooner, however. Parents of high-risk children may wish to check with their state or local health department and health insurance company.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost me?

The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to anyone living in the U.S., but your vaccination provider may bill your insurance company, Medicaid or Medicare for an administration fee. Vaccination providers can be reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company. The federal government’s Provider Relief Fund is also available to reimburse healthcare providers for treating uninsured patients. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee. Learn more.

What is the status of COVID-19 infection, deaths and vaccination in my state?

National guidelines are emerging, but vaccination supply, eligibility, and distribution differ from state to state. The CDC closely tracks the spread of COVID-19 as well as hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine distribution and administration. Learn more about the status of COVID-19 in your state and locality. Johns Hopkins University also maintains a comprehensive COVID-19 dashboard on global, U.S., and state data.

Am I eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in my state?

The CDC has issued general recommendations to guide state and local distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, but each state and locality determines its own eligibility protocols and distributes the vaccine according to its own supply. This explains why someone in a neighboring state may be eligible to receive the vaccine before you. Find information about your state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Even if you are not yet eligible, many states allow you to sign up in advance for text or email notifications.

Additional Resources