COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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We strongly encourage and ask you to become vaccinated. Being vaccinated can significantly reduce the need to quarantine and isolate, and therefore, cause less disruption to your work and/or school presence and participation.

We know the best way to remain open and keep campus safe is to follow public health guidelines, including vaccination, mask usage, testing, social distancing, and proper health hygiene.

Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still deciding whether or not the COVID-19 vaccination is the right choice for you, learn more about the vaccination with the following frequently asked questions from the State of Utah’s COVID-19 response website:

Yes. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in history. The FDA, CDC, and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have carefully reviewed all available data and are confident the vaccines are safe and effective to prevent COVID-19.

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Yes. Data from both the clinical trials and real world studies show the COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly effective at preventing sickness, hospitalization, and death. Recent studies show the vaccines work against the new variants of the virus identified so far and prevent transmission of the virus to other people. Research also shows the vaccines help avoid long-term effects of COVID-19 and may actually improve things for those who are suffering from long-term effects of COVID-19. Studies show the vaccines likely provide longer lasting immunity compared to natural immunity (immunity from having the disease). Vaccination strengthens your immune response and is a safer way to build immunity than getting the disease again. COVID-19 can have serious long-term health effects that doctors are still learning about.

Data from each of the clinical trials can be found here: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

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No. COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are mRNA vaccines and don’t interact with your DNA in any way. The vaccines don’t have any live virus in them and can’t give you COVID. Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is genetic material that tells your body how to make proteins. These types of vaccines teach your body how to make copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus. This triggers an immune response that creates antibodies to protect you from getting infected with COVID-19.

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It’s very unlikely. While it’s true we don’t have years of data on the COVID-19 vaccines, we do have hundreds of years of knowledge about the human body and vaccinations. Plus—because COVID-19 affected millions of people around the world at the same time—scientists got to study the effects of the vaccine on hundreds of thousands of people with different backgrounds and different levels of health—we got data that normally would have taken years to get. If you look at the history of all vaccinations, almost every long-term side effect from vaccination shows up between 6-8 weeks after vaccine clinical trials end. That’s why the FDA requires a wait time of at least 60 days after the end of a clinical trial before an emergency use authorization (EUA) can be given.

Mild or moderate symptoms after getting vaccinated are normal and may last a few days, like a fever, muscle aches, headaches, feeling tired, or redness around the injection site. This is common after any vaccine, and means your body has started creating an immune response and is learning to fight the disease. Severe side effects and allergic reactions are rare. Your chance of having a life-threatening case of COVID-19 is much higher than your potential risk of ever getting a serious side effect from the vaccine.

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Yes. You should still get vaccinated, even if you’ve already had COVID-19. Even if you still have some natural immunity, or immunity from having the virus, studies are showing the immunity from the vaccines adds another layer of protection, better protects against variants, keeps you from even getting the virus again, and lasts longer than natural immunity. Vaccination is a much safer and effective way to develop immunity than being infected by the virus because you don’t know how COVID-19 will affect you.

We have enough supply of vaccine for everyone. When the vaccines first became available, supplies were low and many states recommended waiting 90 days to get vaccinated after you’d had COVID-19, so we could make sure we had enough for those who were most at risk. This was the best recommendation at the time. We don’t have to do that anymore. You DO NOT need to wait 90 days after having COVID-19 to get vaccinated. You can get vaccinated as soon as you are no longer in isolation and you don’t have any symptoms.

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It is common for people to have mild or moderate symptoms or side effects after they get a vaccination. There is usually no reason to worry if you get mild to moderate symptoms a few days after getting vaccinated. This means your body has started working to create an immune response and is learning to fight the disease. Mild or moderate symptoms include things like a fever or redness around an injection site.

Common side effects include pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the injection. You may also notice tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.

The Centers for Disease Control provides more information on what to expect after getting the COVID-19 vaccine and helpful tips to deal with discomfort.

Vaccination Booster Shot Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get the booster shot and what type of booster you should get depends on the original vaccine you received. 

If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it is recommended that adults 18 and over get the booster shot at least five months after receiving the primary COVID vaccination. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) boosters are preferred in most situations. 

If you received the Moderna vaccine, it is recommended that adults 18 and over get the booster shot at least six months after receiving the primary COVID vaccination.  Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) boosters are preferred in most situations. 

If you received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, it is recommended that adults 18 and over get the booster shot at least two months after receiving the primary Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID vaccination. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) boosters are preferred in most situations.

Yes. COVID-19 booster shots are the same ingredients (formulation) as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, the dose is half of the amount of the vaccine people get for their primary series.

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection over time against mild and moderate disease, especially among certain populations.

Adults and children may have some side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea. Serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.