Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I want to get vaccinated, but my parents/guardians are hesitant. What should I do?
A. In the state of Colorado, laws require parental consent for immunization for anyone under 18. If your parents are hesitant, it’s important to sit down with them and have an open and honest conversation about why getting vaccinated is important to YOU.
Step 1. Explain the importance of vaccines using facts from trustworthy and well-known sources (CDC, Immunize Colorado, CDPHE, etc.)
Step 2. Address their specific hesitancy concerns. Hesitancy can look different for everyone, so ensure that you understand their concerns in order to specifically address them.
Step 3. Schedule a visit with your primary doctor or pediatrician so they can address your parents’ concerns and present the facts on vaccination.
Q. I am between the ages of 13 and 18, and I did not receive all my recommended vaccines as a child. Is it too late to catch up?
A. It’s never too late to receive your vaccines! Catch-up vaccines may include:
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough)
MenACWY (Meningococcal disease)
HepA (Hepatitis A)
HepB (Hepatitis B)
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
Varicella (Chicken Pox)
Talk to your parent/guardian, or your doctor to find out which vaccines you might be missing or to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated. You can also check out the CDC vaccine recommendations for 13-18 year olds to make sure your immunizations remain up to date. You can also check your vaccination record in the Colorado Immunization Information System, here.
Q. How can I tell if I am eligible for a certain vaccine?
A. Check out CDC Recommended Vaccines By Age. You can also call your doctor to see which vaccines you might need based on your age and any medical indications.
Q. How do I know where I can get different vaccines?
A. If you have a pediatrician or doctor that you see regularly, they will be able to provide you with all the routine recommended vaccines you may need. You can also reach out to your local pharmacy or local public health agency to locate vaccine providers in your area. The state health department provides a great list of vaccine providers that you can reference, here. If you cannot find a location to receive your vaccine, fill out the question form above with your zip code and email, and we’ll research providers near you!
Q. AHHH the ingredient list for my vaccine seems scary! Should I still get it?
A. The ingredients in vaccines function to make the vaccine safe and effective! All ingredients serve a specific purpose:
Keep the vaccine safe and long-lasting
Additionally, vaccines are studied and tested for years and only licensed if they are found to be very safe and very effective. Because we give vaccines to otherwise healthy people, they are held to a very high safety standard. Visit CDC’s What’s in Vaccines? for more information.
COVID-19 vaccine-specific questions
from Immunize Colorado
Q. Is there a cost to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or a requirement of healthcare insurance?
A. As per the federal government, vaccine providers cannot charge you any fees or copays for the vaccine, the vaccine is completely free of charge. Vaccine providers cannot deny vaccination to anyone who cannot present healthcare insurance or is out of network.
Q. What side effects can I expect to see after receiving my COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Some common side effects include pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the injection. Additionally, you may experience headaches, fatigue, chills, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These symptoms do not indicate that you have been infected with COVID-19, but rather, these are all signs that your body is building immunity against COVID-19. You can expect these side effects to go away within a few days.
Q. Some people get COVID after being vaccinated. If this is the case, it shouldn’t be required.
A. Like all vaccines and many medications, the vaccines for COVID-19 are not 100% effective. A small proportion of the vaccinated population will not develop protection against COVID-19 following vaccination. This is why it is so important for the vast majority of the population to be vaccinated - to protect those who are not protected. Additionally, cases of COVID-19 following complete vaccination are rare. In cases where infection does happen post-vaccination, symptoms are less severe and chances of severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death are much lower.
Q. If the vaccine works, why do vaccinated people care if I’m vaccinated or not?
A. Because no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness, there will be a
small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID who still get sick, hospitalized, or die from COVID-19. This is one of the reasons why “community immunity” (also known as “herd immunity”) is so important. Ultimately, achieving a high enough level of vaccination will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who either haven’t been vaccinated yet or cannot be vaccinated due to their age or certain medical conditions.
Q. Should I be vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19?
A. Individuals should be vaccinated even if they’ve already had COVID-19. Public health experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Experts are still learning more about how long COVID vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. The CDC and its partners will keep the public informed as they learn more.
Q. Can I get COVID from the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. No. COVID-19 vaccines made using mRNA cannot give you COVID. mRNA vaccines don’t use the live virus that causes COVID-19, meaning that the vaccine cannot cause you to get COVID. Additionally, mRNA does not stay in the body after vaccination. Our cells break down and get rid of the mRNA soon after it has been recognized and translated in order to make the protein that triggers our body’s immune response. The Adenovirus (the viral vector) used in making the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was modified by researchers so it can not replicate in your body or cause illness.
Q. Can I spread COVID-19 to others after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
A. It is still possible to spread the virus to others even after you’re
vaccinated. Although getting the vaccine lowers your chances of getting seriously sick or dying from COVID-19, experts are still studying whether getting vaccinated will keep you from getting and spreading the virus in the future, even if you don’t feel sick. It is also important to realize that you are not protected against COVID-19 immediately after getting your shot. Your body needs time to develop protection after getting vaccinated.
Q. Can COVID-19 vaccines alter my DNA?
A. No. Vaccines can not alter DNA. This is a great example of misinformation designed to scare people away from lifesaving vaccines and downplay the very real risks of vaccine-preventable diseases. At a glance, it sounds possible, but the science doesn’t support it.
Q. Do the current vaccines protect against COVID virus variants?
A. According to the CDC, current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. should work against these COVID virus variants.
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