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Information About the COVID-19 Vaccine

You may have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Is it safe to get the vaccine? What about side effects? You may be unsure if it really works—or question how well it works.

At VNSNY, we take seriously our mission of protecting the health of our community. We want to make sure our patients and plan members have the best care possible. We also work hard to ensure our employees and our neighbors are safe and healthy as well.

If you are not sure if the vaccine is right for you, we understand. Here is important information about the COVID-19 vaccines as you decide.

The COVID-19 vaccines work.

The COVID vaccines work very well to protect people from getting sick with COVID-19. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are given in two doses. The first shot kicks your immune system up to a certain level. The second shot kicks it to an even higher level. The doses need to be a few weeks apart to give your body time to reach that first level. In studies, one dose of the vaccine was 50% effective in preventing COVID-19. After two doses, both vaccines were more than 94% effective.

In addition, people who are vaccinated are less likely to make other people sick. Getting the vaccine protects you and the people you care about.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Many countries and many companies worked together to develop the COVID-19 vaccines. The different vaccines went through extensive studies and trials. The FDA and safety boards reviewed data from these trials at every stage.

You won’t get sick from the vaccine.

Neither vaccine contains COVID-19 so you won’t get sick from it. However, some people have side effects after they get the vaccine. The most common side effects are:

  • Soreness at the injection spot
  • Slight fever
  • Tiredness

These side effects are a sign that the vaccine is working! They show that your body is building protection against the virus. Side effects usually go away after a few days.

Serious side effects are very rare (about 5 people in 1,000 have a bad reaction).

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

The vaccine tricks your body into thinking you have COVID-19. This kicks your immune system into action to fight the virus. Then, if you are exposed to COVID-19, your immune system recognizes the virus. It knows how to attack and destroy it, so the virus can’t make you sick.

You need two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, three or four weeks apart.

Studies and vaccine trials were done on two doses of the vaccine. We don’t know how effective one dose is, so it is very important that you get both doses of the same vaccine, to be fully protected.

For more information

We encourage people to get the vaccine as soon as they are eligible. For information about eligibility and making an appointment to get the vaccine:

New York City residents should call or visit

New York State residents should call or visit