Who should and should not get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Doctors recommend the COVID-19 vaccines for everyone, with very few exceptions. They are safe and very effective.
There are very few people who should not get immunized. These include:
- Children age 11 and under. The vaccines are not yet approved for those under the age of 12, but research is underway to confirm vaccine safety and efficacy for this age group.
Some people may need to wait or should seek medical advice before getting immunized. This includes people who:
- People with severe allergies to vaccine ingredients. You can view the ingredient list for the approved vaccines and get more information about vaccine allergies here. Severe allergies to these ingredients are very rare, and even patients with anaphylactic allergies may still be able to get the vaccine under the supervision of a doctor who specializes in allergies. NOTE: Food allergies or other allergies are NOT a reason to avoid the vaccine. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor.
- Have had severe allergies to other vaccines or injectable medications in the past, or have had an anaphylactic reaction in the past but do not know the cause. Talk to your doctor first.
- Have COVID-19 symptoms or those who are isolating due to a potential exposure. Wait until public health clears you before getting the vaccine.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can get the vaccine, but you should consult a doctor first.
- Have suppressed immune systems or are undergoing treatments that can weaken your immune system, like chemotherapy. You may be able to get the vaccine, but you should consult a doctor first.
Like any medication, surgery or other treatment, vaccines also have risks of side effects. The good news is for those who have side effects, they are almost always mild and go away quickly. For almost everyone, the risk of getting COVID is much higher — like thousands of times higher — than the risk of a serious reaction from the vaccine, and the vaccine offers the benefit of preventing serious infections. Your doctor can assess your medical situation and advise you about the vaccine.
If you have questions about whether the vaccine is right for you, talk to a doctor.