Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines

We understand you may have many questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

Please see the frequently asked questions below as a resource to keep you informed and help answer questions.

Yes. The vaccines underwent clinical trials with thousands of participants representing a range of diverse groups and has been deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Those with a history of reactions to immunizations are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider prior to receiving the vaccine.

COVID-19 is not the first coronavirus. Scientists were able to apply 50 years of research to make a safe and effective vaccine, which received support for accelerated production.

The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines (mRNA). mRNA provides the instructions your body needs to build a small protein that triggers an immune response to COVID-19 if you become infected.

Yes, you do. There is not evidence that recovering from a COVID-19 infection builds lasting immunity in the body. Some people have been infected with COVID-19 more than once/multiple times. It is recommended you wait 90 days from recovery to receive the vaccine.

Yes. It will take time to vaccinate enough people for immunity in the community. In the meantime, continue to be COVIDSAFE by wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, washing your hands, and avoiding large gatherings.

Common side effects include soreness in your arm, fatigue, body aches and fever. These are signs the vaccine is working.

Free vaccinations are available from the County of San Diego (County) for all individuals currently eligible and interested in being vaccinated for COVID-19. Individuals in currently opened Phases and Tiers should first contact their medical provider to receive the vaccine directly at no-cost. For individuals unable to receive the vaccine from their provider, or if they do not have a healthcare provider, they may be vaccinated at a County-coordinated COVID-19 vaccination site at no-cost.

Updates on who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be posted on the COVID-19 Vaccine page on Additionally, depending on which group you fall into, you may be notified by your healthcare provider.