Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

Published on April 06, 2021

a graphic that says vaccine awareness month

Faced with a sheer magnitude of COVID-19 vaccination information, even the savviest consumers can feel confused, frustrated and overwhelmed. And now that the vaccine is approved for widespread use, unknowns and untruths are multiplying exponentially. To help combat the rampant misinformation, starting today and continuing for the next three Tuesdays throughout COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness & Education Month, we will be unmasking some of today's most prevalent vaccination myths in order to provide the community with medically sound, CDC-backed truths about the vaccine.

Myth: A COVID-19 vaccine can make me sick with COVID-19.

Truth: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.

There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, like fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work. 

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it's possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

That being said, COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what is known about the vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

The medical community is still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you've been fully vaccinated, you should keep taking precautions in public places -- like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces -- until more is known.

For what it's worth: Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and following the CDC's recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Register to get vaccinated

Tarrant County Public Health maintains an online portal that allows individuals to easily register for a no-cost vaccine for residents with or without health insurance. Tarrant County Public Health will send an email, text message or phone message regarding upcoming appointments.

Learn more about the vaccine process in Tarrant County. The City of Fort Worth website provides additional information about the vaccination process and other providers in the community.



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