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Are you less likely to get COVID if you are vaccinated?

The short answer is yes, you are less likely to get COVID-19 if you are vaccinated. However, the main goal of vaccination for COVID-19 is to prevent severe symptoms, including preventing hospitalization, ICU admission, or death.

Efficacy (how well the vaccine works in clinical trials) and effectiveness (how well the vaccine works in real-world observational studies) of COVID-19 vaccines tends to be lowest against infection, somewhat higher against symptomatic disease and highest against severe disease. When COVID-19 vaccines were first introduced, they were extremely effective at both preventing infection and preventing severe disease. However, as COVID-19 has changed so has the role of vaccination. Now, like with the flu vaccine, the main goal is to prevent people from getting severe symptoms, which the vaccines are still very good at doing. The vaccine will also prevent some people from getting an infection, meaning they also won’t be able to transmit the infection to others. This is important for anyone at higher risk of severe disease, and anyone who might be in contact (at home, in the community, or at work) with someone at higher risk of severe disease.

Those at increased risk of COVID-19 infection or severe disease include:
• Adults 65 years of age or older
• Residents of long-term care homes and other congregate living settings
• Individuals with underlying medical conditions that place them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
• Individuals who are pregnant
• Individuals in or from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities
• Members of racialized and other equity-deserving communities
• People who provide essential community services.