Will a COVID-19 vaccine prevent me from getting sick with COVID-19?

Not necessarily, but being vaccinated against COVID-19 can make things a lot easier if you do get infected. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you personally. Though many people with COVID-19 only experience a mild illness, others may develop a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or die. Being vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent serious, tragic outcomes. 

According to the CDC:

  • When someone who is vaccinated with either a primary series or a primary series plus a booster dose gets infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, it is referred to as a “vaccine breakthrough infection.” 
  • When people who are vaccinated get COVID-19 get a breakthrough infection, they are much less likely to experience severe symptoms than people who are unvaccinated.

Though breakthrough infections are possible (and are expected), evidence shows that fully vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19.


Last Reviewed: 8/9/23

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1. Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
2. Will a COVID-19 vaccine prevent me from getting sick with COVID-19?
3. I lost my vaccine card or need to obtain my vaccination records. What should I do?
4. If I previously had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to be vaccinated?
5. I’ve heard that there is pork and gelatin in the COVID-19 vaccines. Is this true?
6. Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain live coronavirus cells?
7. Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required?
8. How long does it take for the vaccine to be fully effective?
9. What if I have a weakened immune system or a medical condition? Should I still get a vaccine?