Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination.
1. Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
2. If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.
3. Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
4. Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
5. Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
6. If I have a weakened immune system, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine.
People with weakened immune systems due to other illnesses or medication might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19. They may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, please consult your physician, and visit CDC.gov for additional guidance.
7. When will it be my turn to get vaccinated?
Given the District of Columbia’s limited vaccine supply, Phase 1B Tier 1 of the vaccine distribution plan began with educators, staff and contractors working in person at pre-K-12 schools on January 25, 2021. Other school personnel who are not currently working in person are part of Phase 1B Tier 2 and details on vaccine access will be released over the next few weeks.
8. How many shots of the vaccine are required?
The currently authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States require two (2) shots to get the most protection:
Pfizer-BioNTech doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart
Moderna doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart
After vaccination, current guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be followed
People who decide to get vaccinated should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 after they are vaccinated. That means:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying at least six feet away from others
- Avoiding crowds
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Following CDC travel guidance
- Following quarantine guidance after exposure to COVID-19
- Following any applicable workplace guidance
Vaccine Education Links