What are the Benefits of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Photo of person being vaccinated
(This story was updated on July 13, 2022)

Although experts are still learning a lot about the COVID-19 vaccines, there are some clear benefits to getting vaccinated.

If you’ve already received the vaccine, great job! Share these facts with others who might be hesitant. If you’re unsure whether the vaccine is right for you, consider these four benefits the vaccine could provide you and your loved ones.

The vaccine reduces your risk of infection.

Once you receive your first shot, your body begins producing antibodies to the coronavirus. These antibodies help your immune system fight the virus if you happen to be exposed, so it reduces your chance of getting the disease. There are four vaccines available for use in the United States, and they are all effective in preventing infection. Learn more about effectiveness.

It’s true that you can still become infected after being vaccinated, but once more of the population is vaccinated, those chances are further reduced thanks to something called herd immunity. So getting vaccinated not only reduces your chance of being infected, it also contributes to community protection, reducing the likelihood of virus transmission.

The vaccine can help your unborn baby or newborn.

Studies have found that expectant mothers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine create antibodies to the virus and pass those to their unborn baby through the placenta. Mothers were also shown to pass antibodies to their newborns through breast milk. This suggests those newborns have some immunity to the virus, which is especially important as young children cannot get the vaccine. Learn more about vaccine considerations for pregnant and nursing women.

The vaccine protects against severe illness.

During studies, the four vaccines — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer — have shown to be effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19. So if you are vaccinated and become infected, you are very unlikely to become severely ill.

The CDC tracks confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status. For adults 18 and older, unvaccinated people were 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated people. Among adolescents between ages 12-17, unvaccinated people are 2.1 times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated people.

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