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FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE COVID-19 VACCINE:
Monday through Friday,
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free, confidential vaccine referrals. Available in multiple languages.
TEXT “vaccine” (FOR ENGLISH) OR “vacuna” (FOR SPANISH) TO 667873
to get contact information for your preferred vaccine provider
COVID-19 VACCINE HOTLINE
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Answers available in multiple languages.
Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines are required to meet the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) safety and effectiveness requirements before they are made available to the public. There are several factors that helped accelerate the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines, including major government funding and technological advances. Usually, vaccine development and trials happen one after the other, and it can take some time. For COVID-19 vaccines, the federal government provided substantial additional funding to conduct vaccine development and trials at the same time, making the process more efficient. While it was a faster process, it was still a rigorous process. To ensure vaccines are safe and effective, the FDA required the same three phases of clinical trials it does for any vaccine.
In certain emergency situations, the FDA may issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow an investigational vaccine to be available to the general public. Read more about what that means in our Emergency Use Authorization FAQ below.
Please visit our How will I get the vaccine? web page to view a list of providers and a vaccine provider map.
No. Minors may go to their vaccine appointments unaccompanied as long as parental consent is collected and shared prior to the appointment. This can be done through Colorado’s COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Administration Form (view in Spanish) or through the vaccine provider’s online scheduling system. The provider may also obtain consent by phone and document it in the patient’s record.
Serious side effects
Although current studies show that it takes two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to be 95% effective, there is no evidence that taking only one dose will have any harmful effects on your health. If you do not receive the second dose, you will not be fully immunized and be at higher risk of getting symptomatic COVID-19 than if you received both doses.
No, mRNA from the COVID-19 vaccines does not affect your DNA. mRNA is a naturally occurring and temporary genetic molecule that instructs your cells how to create spike proteins in the body. Minutes to hours after the mRNA is read by the cell, the body destroys the temporary mRNA using a special enzyme. After your cells make copies of the virus’ protein, your immune system is triggered and recognizes that the protein should not be in your body. Your body then builds antibodies so that it remembers how to fight the virus if you are exposed in the future.
The CDC has issued guidance for domestic travel and international travel.
CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has answers to many common questions here.
Everyone age 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine annually.
Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever because we need to ensure our healthcare systems aren’t overwhelmed during the pandemic
Getting a flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19, but a flu vaccination will reduce your risk of getting the flu and being hospitalized because of the flu.
For additional information, visit CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licenses and approves the use of vaccines. Before the FDA approves a vaccine, the manufacturer must do rigorous research and testing to ensure the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. The FDA independently reviews and verifies the information from these tests. It then decides whether the vaccine can be given to the public.
Vaccines must go through a detailed scientific evaluation before they can be submitted to the FDA for approval. Each phase of the evaluation includes three different clinical research studies. In the clinical research study or trial, the vaccine is tested on people who volunteer to be part of the study. Each clinical trial emphasizes safety of the vaccine on people. As the research moves through to the next phase, the group of volunteers becomes bigger to include more diversity in people and circumstances.
EUAs were initially introduced in 2004 to prepare for bioterrorism attacks. Under an EUA, the government is able to authorize medical treatments and products in the event of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) attack.
The FDA may issue an EUA for a medical product if it meets the following criteria:
A vaccine intended for wide distribution to the general public has not been released under an EUA in the past. The only vaccine authorized under an EUA prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was an anthrax vaccine in 2005. This vaccine was given to certain military personnel who were at heightened risk of exposure to anthrax.
Although not common, EUAs have been issued multiple times in the past for tests, treatments and medical equipment.