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What are vasovagal symptoms?  How can I prevent them?

Some people experience vasovagal symptoms – dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea – immediately after receiving vaccine.  To help prevent vasovagal symptoms:

  • Eat and drink water before you go to get your vaccine.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated, particularly now that we are entering warmer months, before getting your vaccine.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply while getting your vaccine.  Think of something relaxing.
  • Sit or lie down when you get your vaccine.

If you have a serious allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis (weak, rapid pulse, low blood pressure, fainting, tightening of your airway, hives, swelling in your throat, fainting, vomiting, etc.) engage with the medical professionals onsite at your vaccine clinic right away for immediate treatment or call 911. 

Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19. It is unlikely, but not impossible, for someone to get infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated. However, if this happened, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect people around you and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. 

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick.

Is the vaccine safe?

All COVID-19 vaccines, like all vaccines approved by the FDA and CDC, were thoroughly tested in clinical trials to ensure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. Clinical trial data is released and evaluated as part of the approval process for the Emergency Use Authorization. This data shows that serious reactions and adverse events were found to be very rare. CDC and the FDA will continue monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues over time.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. However, please note that if you have COVID and would like the vaccine, you will need to wait for a period of time (as defined by the CDC) after your recovery to be eligible.

Can I go to a different county for a vaccine than the one I live in?  

The vaccine can be given in any county; it does not have to be the county of residence.  However, you do have to live in North Carolina. 

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?

Yes. In fact, COVID-19 vaccination is very important for people with underlying health problems such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. Individuals with these types of conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

What if I am pregnant, nursing or planning to become pregnant?

There is currently no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. Individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant should discuss receiving the COVID-19 vaccine with their OB-GYN.

The following resources may be useful in educating yourself about the potential benefits and risks of getting the COVID vaccine while you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant.

Trusted Resources

If you would like to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine development, approval and distribution process, please reference the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine Information

NC Department of Health & Human Services COVID-19 Vaccine Information

North Carolina Immunization Branch