• Understanding Vaccines

    Everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines.

    Learn about COVID-19 vaccines, how they work, their side effects, and all the science behind them.
  • Have you heard?

    What's real and what's not about the COVID-19 vaccines.

    A lot has been said about vaccines and COVID-19, here you can get the facts to know what's true and what's myth.
  • My COVID-19 Vaccine Story

    Meet the people who volunteered for the COVID-19 Clinical Studies.

    Tens of thousands of people received the vaccines in clinical studies before they were authorized for the public. Hear from some of those who volunteered, listen to their stories and learn more about their journey.
  • About Us

    Learn more about Fred Hutch and the COVID -19 Prevention Network.
  • Other Resources

    Find more information and resources from reliable sources.

    Our understanding of COVID-19 and the response continues to evolve as we learn more. Visit these sites for up to date information.
  • How to Get Vaccinated When It's Your Turn

    Find out when you're eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and what to do when it's your turn.


What is a Vaccine?

Vaccines stimulate the body’s own protective immune responses so that, if a person is infected with a virus, the immune system is ready to prevent the infection from spreading within the body and causing disease.
Click here to learn more

What are COVID-19 vaccine side effects?

People often confuse reactogenicity (the physical signs that the immune system is working) with unexpected side effects of a vaccine.
Reactogenicity includes all the signs and symptoms that you may feel between 1 or 2 days after getting vaccinated.
Side effects are the things that shouldn't happen when you are exposed to a vaccine, like an allergic reaction.

Continue reading here!

What are the main differences of COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

There are 3 primary types of COVID-19 vaccines:

Protein-based vaccines
mRNA vaccines
Viral Vector Vaccines
Click here to learn more about how each of these vaccines work!

Why are we still studying COVID-19 vaccines?

Although science and study volunteers gave us vaccines that are authorized for public use, we cannot stop our search for effective and safe vaccines. The more vaccines there are, the quicker we can protect everyone who wants to receive one.
Find out more here

When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Find out when you're eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine with the Washington State Department of Health's Phase Finder Tool.
Phase Finder Tool

Why are people over 65 a top priority to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

People aged 65 years and older are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. Vaccination can save lives and protect them from serious illness.
Want to know more? Click here!



The mRNA vaccines are too new to be safe.

TRUE or FALSE? Don´t get a vaccine because they alter your DNA.


The vaccines contain the live virus.


The prolonged use of medical masks causes oxygen deficiency or CO2 intoxication.


You can give SARS-Cov-2 to someone even if you don't have symptoms.


You don't need to get both shots. One is enough.


We don't need vaccines if we take preventative measures like social distancing, using masks and being healthy overall.


The vaccine development process was rushed and that's a sign they can't be trusted.

TRUE or FALSE? Vaccines are riskier than COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective while the risks of contracting COVID-19 are serious including hospitalization and death. The vaccines have undergone an intensive safety monitoring and have shown to significantly reduce the risks of COVID-19.


Read more about the safety of vaccines

TRUE or FALSE? Vaccines can give you COVID-19.

FALSE. The vaccine teaches your body to recognize and fight the virus. There is no real virus used in the vaccines.

TRUE or FALSE? You won’t need to use a mask if you got a COVID-19 vaccine.

FALSE. The vaccines are good news for protecting people from disease but we don’t know yet if the vaccines will stop people from getting infected or being able to spread coronavirus. Masks are still needed as the best way to stop spreading the virus.

If I had COVID-19, how much time should I wait before getting the vaccine?

If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

What if you received your first shot not knowing you had just contracted COVID-19, got sick, and are recovering. Do you still get your second vaccine at the three week interval?

Yes, you should likely still get the second shot as scheduled. But check with the vaccine distribution center to confirm. If you might have COVID-19, they may prefer to have you wait so that you won’t spread COVID-19 to others.

Why are so many people getting headaches and body aches with the second shot but not the first? Are they different?

This is a reflection of your body reacting to the vaccine. The two shots are the same: the first shot is alerting your immune system, but the second shot is following up and really boosting that response. The side effects that people sometimes have (like a sore arm, low fever, headache, feeling tired) are an indication that your body is responding to the vaccine just the way we want it to! It’s working to build a response to COVID-19, so that if you are ever exposed your body will be able to fight back. Most people find that they can take some Tylenol or Ibuprofen, rest, and the side effects typically go away within a day or two.

Should you get a COVID-19 test just prior to getting the vaccine?

No, this is not necessary.

TRUE or FALSE? If we have two approved vaccines, we do not need more.

FALSE! There are over 7 billion people in the world and vaccines are needed to end the pandemic. Now that we have vaccines that have proven to be very effective at preventing severe COVID-19 disease, we need to continue COVID-19 vaccine research for 3 reasons:

1. If we find several vaccines that work, we can end the pandemic sooner.
2. We need vaccines that can work for many kinds of people worldwide.
3. We still have questions that need to be answered.
Learn more here

Will I be charged for the vaccine?

No. You should not be charged out-of-pocket costs, or receive a bill from your provider or from the vaccination site. This applies to people who have private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or are uninsured.

My Vaccine Story


How to Get Vaccinated When It's Your Turn

COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed in phases. To get a vaccine, follow these 3 steps:

1. Find out if its your turn to receive a COVID-19 vaccine now. Click here to answer a few questions and provide your contact information so you can be notified when it is your turn.

2. Find a location near you and schedule an appointment when you are eligible.

3. Bring your Eligibility Confirmation to your appointment (printed or screenshot from PhaseFinder) to show to the provider


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on a mission to help save lives specially during COVID-19 pandemic.


If you live in Washington state, PhaseFinder can tell you if you are eligible for a vaccine now or alert you when you are.

Phase Finder Tool

Additional languages:

At the World Health Organization website you can find the latest global information about COVID-19


The National Institute of Health is the nation’s medical research agency, supporting scientific studies that turn discovery into health.


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducts and supports clinical trials evaluating therapies and vaccine candidates against COVID-19.



Scientists / Category

News and Updates

The Virus’s Gambit; The Vaccine Response

Some countries, including South Africa, have set up extensive genomic surveillance systems to understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus is mutating.
Additional mutations will continue to be identified and we must be prepared to manage them within the broader effort to mitigate the pandemic.
As we learn more about the vaccines’ efficacy against new variants, we must remember that the overall goal is to identify vaccines that reduce severe disease, as opposed to lessening more minor symptoms.

Read More

Science in the face of fear: a commentary on vaccine hesitancy

Key Points:
The efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines is a scientific triumph with vast potential to save lives.
The political context within which the Covid-19 vaccines were developed has led to mistrust and hesitancy among some Americans, and it will take time to heal these wounds.
Regardless of politics, the scientific goal has always been the development of vaccines that can alter or stop Covid-19, and that goal has now been achieved.

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Two Doses or One? COVID-19 Vaccine Regimens

Key Points:
The effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is based on the results of clinical trials that gave two doses of vaccine 3 or 4 weeks apart.
The clinical trials did not give us information about different approaches to administering these vaccines (e.g., giving only one dose or spacing out the two doses beyond 3 or 4 weeks).
Until we have more research about their efficacy, we should plan to give these vaccines as two doses at the scheduled times 3 or 4 weeks apart.

Read More

About Us

The COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the US National Institutes of Health to respond to the global pandemic. Using its existing networks of infectious disease experts, research organizations and global partners, NIAID directed scientists and researchers to address the pressing need for vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against SARS-CoV-2.

At Fred Hutch (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), our researchers are pushing the limits of human knowledge, from foundational biology to population-level health. Through fearless science, collaboration across disciplines, and unshakable focus, we’re leading the way to a world free of cancer and related diseases.

The Washington State Department of Health works with others to protect and improve the health of all people in Washington state.
Our programs and services help prevent illness and injury, promote healthy places to live and work, provide information to help people make good health decisions and ensure our state is prepared for emergencies. The partnership with Fred Hutch during the COVID-19 vaccine response centers around leveraging resources and sharing information, with no financial obligations by either party.

Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine page