It's ok to feel anxiety about the COVID-19 vaccine. Below is a set of clear responses to common vaccine concerns that we hope will help you make the best decision for yourself, or to help your friends, family, or community to make the best decision for themselves.

I’m worried about...

“Help me understand the Omicron variant and how it’s different.”

Omicron is basically the same, but has a few key differences from Delta, and the previous variants. Here are the 3 key ways it’s different:

  • It looks like omicron spreads from person to person more easily. Even when you don’t have symptoms.

  • For Delta, it takes about 5 days after exposure before you get symptoms. For Omicron, it’s about 3 days.

  • The good news: it looks like Omicron is less severe than Delta. BUT that’s true mostly for boosted people. AND even if it’s less severe, if more (mostly unvaccinated) people end up in the hospital, that could still overwhelm the healthcare system.

“I’m worried that the vaccine will affect my period.”

Good news here! They’ve been looking into this in a few studies, and it looks like it might temporarily affect the one cycle when you get the vaccine, and then you’ll be back to normal.

“I just want to understand how the vaccine was developed. I’m worried that the vaccine was developed too quickly and isn’t safe.”

We can understand why it might be concerning! We really like this example that explains how they made this vaccine. Our big takeaway was that it’s not that different from past vaccines, and they’ve been looking at mRNA vaccines for a looong time.

“I’m worried about all the side effects of the vaccine.”

That’s understandable - some people have mild side effects. Side effects might include: fever, headache, fatigue, and pain in your arm where you got the vaccine, but these go away after a few days!

You might have a few more intense side effects after the second shot. These side effects are normal signs that the body is building protection.

“I don’t know about the long term effects of the vaccine, so I’m not gonna risk it”

That’s a fair concern since we are just experiencing COVID-19 now and we can’t predict the future. However, we do know what the side effects are now, and severe side effects have been very, very rare in young people.

We do know that there are long-term side effects of a COVID-19 infection, even if you have no symptoms when you were sick. The risks of long COVID are greater than the risk of side effects from the vaccine.

We’ve also been studying this type of vaccine for a long time, about 20 years.

“I’m worried that I shouldn’t get the vaccine because I’m pregnant.” “I’m worried that if I get the vaccine I won’t be able to have children.”

The bottom line: it is SAFE to get the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding, or thinking about having children. In fact, the vaccine protects moms from getting COVID-19, and mothers may also pass on some protection against the virus to their newborns.

We totally get why people are concerned, since they initially didn’t include pregnant women in the trials. But there have been new trials that did include pregnant women, and a bunch of studies specifically checked the risk of miscarriage in women who received the vaccine versus those who didn’t get the vaccine. Put simply, they found that the vaccine had no effect on rates of miscarriage.

“I’m worried that the vaccine will alter my DNA.”

We get why you might be worried about that, but turns out - it definitely won’t! We found this funny video that explains how the vaccine works in a super simple way.

Bottom line: it won’t change your DNA, just helps you create protection in case you get Covid.

“I want to know more about long COVID.”

  • Here are the symptoms: some people develop a variety of mid- and long-term effects including fatigue, breathlessness, and lack of mental focus and clarity.

  • People who are vaccinated are less likely to get COVID-19, and therefore, less likely to get long-covid.

  • The research behind all this is ongoing, and we’ll continue to learn more! Here’s where we're looking for information, we like their Q&A.