Vaccine/Booster FAQs

While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps were taken to make sure they are safe and effective:

  • Approach to Development – Scientists have been working for many years to develop vaccines against viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. This knowledge helped speed up the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Clinical Trials – All vaccines in the United States must go through three phases of clinical trials to make sure they are safe and effective. During the development of COVID-19 vaccines, phases overlapped to speed up the process, but all phases were completed.
  • Authorization or Approval – Before vaccines are available to people, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assesses the findings from clinical trials. FDA determined that three COVID-19 vaccines met FDA’s safety and effectiveness standards and granted those vaccines Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)external icon. This allowed the vaccines to be quickly distributed to control the pandemic. Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) COVID-19 vaccine has now been FDA approvedexternal icon for people ages 16 years and older. Read more about the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive FDA approvalexternal icon.
  • Manufacturing and Distribution – The U.S. government has invested substantial resources to manufacture and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. This allowed vaccine distribution to begin as soon as FDA authorized each vaccine.
  • Tracking Safety Using Vaccine Monitoring Systems – COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring has been the most intense and comprehensive in U.S. history. Hundreds of millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines. Through several monitoring systems, CDC and FDA continue to provide updated information on the safety of these vaccines.

No. None of the vaccines are able to alter your DNA. All three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease.

No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine; however, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. This means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people age 5 years and older in the United States for the prevention of COVID-19.. COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge. Vaccinations are available at a number of locations across the City of Detroit, and at the TCF Center. You may schedule an appointment by calling:  (313) 230-0505. Translation services are available for those who speak Spanish.

The goal for the vaccine is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.  Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

The CDC has recommended that pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant may be offered the vaccine, in consultation with their health care provider.

Yes. Individuals should continue to wear masks, social distance from those not in their household and wash their hands, even after receiving vaccine. You can spread the disease even if you have been vaccinated and even if you do not have symptoms.

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19, its variants, and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they had COVID-19 before.

There is promising evidence to suggest that the current vaccines will protect you from most variants, or mutations, of COVID-19 that are currently spreading in the United States. It is possible that some variants might cause illness in some people after they are vaccinated. However, if a vaccine is found to be less effective, it could still offer some protection. Researchers are monitoring how the new COVID-19 variants may affect how vaccines will work in real-world scenarios. 

The difference is that immunocompromised people should receive the additional third dose 28 days after they received their second shot.  Pfizer and Moderna are approved for third shots. The booster is for everyone else that would want the third dose after six months.  Pfizer is approved only for boosters.

As of January 10, 2022, the City of Detroit is now offering Pfizer booster doses to everyone ages 12+, following approval by the Food &Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Additionally, the CDC has recommended a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for immunocompromised children ages 5+, to be provided 28 days after completing their initial series.  The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for children 5-17 and adults 18 and older can get a booster for any the three available vaccines.

Among those people who reported side effects, it included local reactions (including itching, pain, or redness at the injection site), some reported systemic reactions (mostly fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches), typically the day after the shot.

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. 

Yes, COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family. Vaccination is now recommended for everyone 5 years and older. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is the only one available to children 5 years and older.

COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, including studies in children 12 years and older. Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine. Like adults, children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.