Vaccines can save lives, but so can you
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available to us. To slow the spread of disease, Coloradans should continue to use basic public health guidance, like physical distancing and mask wearing, until a vaccine is widely available and used by Coloradans.
When can I get vaccinated?
Colorado is currently vaccinating eligible Coloradans for Phase 1A and Phase 1B.1. Coloradans in Phase 1B.2 are eligible beginning February 8. Most of our patients may qualify Phase 1B.3. After all of Phase 1 is complete, the state will proceed with Phases 2 and 3.
What can I expect at my vaccine appointment?
At your appointment, you should receive an FDA fact sheet that tells you more about the risks and benefits of the specific COVID-19 vaccine you will receive. You should also receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and the location you received it. Keep this card as a reminder of when you need to get your second dose, if applicable. The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be the same vaccine product as your first dose. It is very important to get both doses of the vaccine so that your body develops enough antibodies to fight the COVID-19 virus if you get infected at a later time.
You may experience side effects, especially after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. These symptoms are normal and show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. These side effects typically go away on their own after a few days.
For more information, see the following links:
Safety and effectiveness
Vaccines must go through a detailed scientific evaluation before pharmaceutical companies can submit them to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. Each phase of the evaluation includes three different clinical research studies or trials. 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.
A diverse group of people volunteered to participate in every phase of the clinical trials, including populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to generations of systemic inequities. For example, in Pfizer’s clinical trials, about 42% of volunteers identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or Native American. About 37% of volunteers for Moderna’s trials identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or other.
The FDA requires that all vaccines undergo this rigorous scientific process, including three phases of clinical trials, before they will authorize or approve the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are subject to the same safety standards as other vaccine trials. Additionally, two independent advisory committees - FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) - will also review a vaccine’s safety data before it is made available to the public.