Even though scientists were able to produce a vaccine quickly, the COVID-19 vaccines were carefully tested before they could be used. With extra funding from the federal government, the process from testing the vaccines to making the vaccines was able to happen faster and more efficiently. It is important to know that steps to check for safety were not skipped.
A vaccine can be used only if the studies show that the vaccine is safe and works. Learn more about how the COVID-19 vaccines were made at How COVID-19 Vaccines Are Made (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaxprocess.pdf). Translations are available at About COVID-19 Vaccine (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/basics.html#make).
Not only are the COVID-19 vaccines safe, but they work! The COVID-19 vaccines are very good at protecting people from getting sick from COVID-19. And even if someone who is vaccinated does get sick with COVID-19 disease, the vaccines prevent severe disease and hospitalizations most of the time. Because the vaccines do not work 100% of the time, it is important to keep wearing a mask, staying 6 feet from others, and washing your hands often until many more people are vaccinated.
Many people are wondering when they can get vaccinated. You can learn who is eligible to get vaccinated at Who’s Getting Vaccinated? (https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/whos-getting-vaccinated/index.jsp). When it is your turn to get a COVID-19 vaccination, you can find where to get vaccinated at Find My Vaccine (https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/index.jsp). The COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone; insurance and immigration status do not matter.
Everyone will have an opportunity to get vaccinated, it will just take time. We know that for some, it is really hard to wait right now. We ask that you be patient. Vaccine is constantly being made and distributed, and there will start to be more vaccine available to Minnesotans later this spring. Continue to tune into your local news source and follow the Minnesota Department of Health’s social media. These will be good sources of information when there are COVID-19 vaccine updates.
Want to learn more about COVID-19 vaccine? Find resources and answers to common concerns and questions at About COVID-19 Vaccine (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/basics.html).