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COVID-19 vaccine safety

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What you need to know

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Millions of people in the U.S. and over 380,000 people in Sonoma County have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.

Hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine

More than 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S. and more than 1.1 million doses in Sonoma County. To view the current total number of COVID-19 vaccinations that have been administered in the U.S., please visit the CDC COVID Data Tracker. To view the total number in Sonoma County, visit Sonoma County’s Vaccine data page.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines will continue to undergo intensive safety monitoring. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Adverse events (serious safety problems) are rare

In rare cases, people have experienced serious health events after COVID-19 vaccination. Any health problem that happens after vaccination is considered an adverse event. An adverse event can be caused by the vaccine or can be caused by a coincidental event not related to the vaccine, such as an unrelated fever, that happened following vaccination. Learn more about adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination.

Benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks

Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely rare following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with the virus. COVID-19 vaccination creates an antibody response, which provides the best possible protection from: 

  • Severe illness or death, even in children, and we can’t reliably predict who will have mild or severe illness.
  • Long-term health issues after having COVID-19. Even people who do not have symptoms when they are first infected can have these ongoing health problems, also known as long COVID or post-COVID conditions.