A doctor talking to a patientA doctor talking to a patient

We understand.
Vaccination is not an easy decision.
But it's easier with reliable information.

We're the American Hospital Association (AHA), a national organization of hospitals, health systems and care providers. We help patients and people understand important health issues, including addressing COVID-19 concerns and questions, together.

You have important concerns. Let's address them.

  • I'm not sure I know what is the best protection against the omicron variant? The CDC says that omicron is now the most common variant among new Covid cases in the U.S., accounting for nearly three-quarters of new infections. The easiest and safest way to protect yourself against the omicron variant is to get vaccinated. Masks offer protection against all variants. The CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Do I still have to wear a mask, even when it is not required by a business? Masking has been a strong defense against the Delta virus, and continues to be for the more contagious omicron strain, especially indoors or in public spaces. Universal masking is recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Cloth face masks won’t fully protect you against the COVID-19 omicron variant. Health experts are urging the public to opt for three-ply surgical masks, KN95 or N95 masks which offer more protection against the highly contagious variant. Please note that mask mandates continue to be in full effect for local and federal public transportation systems, including travel by airplane and trains per federal mandate.

  • I'm pregnant (or want to become pregnant soon). Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccinations cause issues with pregnancy or being able to get pregnant in the future.

  • I've already had COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. The vaccine can protect you from severe illness and death. We don't know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.

  • I have a preexisting condition. The vaccine was studied in people with many different preexisting and chronic conditions and has been proven to be safe. Your doctor is the best person to talk to about your specific health situation.

  • I'm concerned about long-term side effects. There are two types of COVID-19 vaccines — mRNA and viral vector vaccines — and medical experts have been studying and working on both types for decades. The COVID-19 vaccine was created using these long-standing vaccine building blocks. The COVID-19 vaccines went through all required stages of approval, and clinicians continue to track any potential side effects. In fact, the COVID-19 vaccines are currently undergoing the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.

  • I'm not sure if the vaccine was researched with me in mind. The clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine included a more diverse group of subjects than previous trials for other drugs and vaccines. The population studied closely mirrored ethnic groups in the U.S. population. The trials also studied the vaccine's effect in people with certain chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

  • I feel like the vaccine was rushed to market. The COVID-19 vaccines were created in record time — but this doesn't mean the process was rushed. There are several reasons why companies were able to produce the vaccines faster than normal, including a head start from previous research on other coronaviruses, decades of vaccine research, collaboration within the scientific community and expedited review.

  • I want to wait until the FDA approves the vaccine. "Emergency Use Authorization" means that manufacturing and administration were expedited, not that a different approval or safety process applies. All typical steps in the approval process were followed, especially as it pertains to the evaluation of efficacy and safety.

  • I can't afford to wait hours to get the vaccine or to pay for it. There is more than enough supply, and appointments are available — often within a 5-minute drive from your house. The vaccine is free, even if you don't have insurance, and you don't need to bring a photo ID. Use the vaccine finder below to find a site convenient for you.

  • I don’t understand why boosters are needed? FDA authorized for adults age 65 and older, adults at high-risk for severe COVID-19, and adults with frequent occupational or institutional exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after completing a primary dose series. It also authorized adults who received a single dose of the J&J vaccine to receive a booster dose at least two months later; FDA clarified that adults under age 65 who have frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 may receive a Pfizer booster.

Find a vaccine site near you.

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This content was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number CK20-2003). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource do not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS, and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition.