*COVID-19 vaccine updates:

May 12th: The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people aged 12 years and older. Read more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine here.

Visit nvcovidfighter.org to find a vaccine location or call the Vaccine Helpline at 1.800.401.0946 for assistance finding an appointment. The Vaccine Helpline is available seven days a week between 7AM to 8PM.

COVID-19 VACCINE

Racial minorities and other vulnerable populations have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Reducing the impact of COVID-19 in our communities requires a collective effort to ensure those who want the vaccine can get one. Also, it is equally essential to ensure our communities have access to reliable and accurate information that can assist them with making an informed decision about vaccination.  We commit to regularly updating our content to ensure vaccine questions are being answered.

The COVID-19 vaccine is a crucial component to helping Nevadan’s go back to work and school, as well as return to social events with family and friends. If enough Nevadans get vaccinated, we will slow the spread of COVID-19, which will help our businesses, restaurants, schools, and casinos return to in-person operations.

Although Nevadans are getting vaccinated, it is still important to continue following preventative measures such as social distancing and mask wearing. Social distancing and mask wearing help reduce exposure to the virus, while the vaccine teaches your body to fight the virus if exposed. All three are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about how to protect yourself and others here.

Important Information to Know About Vaccine Access

The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to ALL people living in the United States, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Vaccine sites may request a social security number and/or government ID, but these are NOT required to receive the vaccine. Also, individuals should NOT be billed for the COVID-19 vaccine since the cost is covered by the federal government.

For more information about access to the COVID-19 vaccines:

Answering Your Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Check out our informational videos

Vaccine Series by Dr. Cucalon Calderon

COVID-19 Informational Series by Dr. Ann Vuong

Health Equity Series by Dr. Erick Lopez

Vaccine FAQs

Which vaccines are currently available?

Three vaccines have been approved for use in the U.S. which are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)* and more COVID-19 vaccines are still in development.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, two dose series, approved for ages 12+
  • Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, two dose series, approved for ages 18+
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine, single dose, approved for ages 18+

Learn more about vaccine authorization here.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines that show to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. The data demonstrates the known and potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of COVID-19 infection.

The COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials included tens of thousands of participants. These trials generate scientific data and other information that the FDA can use to will be determine vaccine safety and efficacy.

There are several vaccine safety monitoring systems in place once the vaccine is authorized for use. These monitoring systems watch for adverse events (aka possible side effects) following vaccination. If an unexpected adverse event occurs, medical experts and doctors will further assess the event to determine if it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety here.

How do we know the vaccines are safe and effective for minority communities?

COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards since COVID-19 can affect anyone. Medical experts and doctors ensured participants in the vaccine clinical trials represented different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and health conditions.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial included over 43,000 participants and approximately 42% came from diverse backgrounds. More specifically, 26.2% identified as Hispanic, 9.8% African American, 4.4% Asian, and 3.3% other. Learn more about Pfizer-BioNTech here.
  • The Moderna clinical trial included over 30,000 participants and approximately 36.5% came from diverse backgrounds. More specifically, 20% identified as Hispanic, 9.7% African American, 4.7% Asian, and less than 3% other. Learn more about Moderna here.
  • The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) clinical trial included roughly 45,000 participants. More than 45% of the participants identified as Hispanic. Also, 17.2% of participants were African American, 8.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 3.5% Asian, and 5.4% multiracial. Learn more about Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) here.

How did the COVID-19 vaccine get developed so quickly?

The COVID-19 vaccines were developed through a worldwide effort, massive funding, and existing research. The vaccines were carefully evaluated through clinical trials and met safety standards before being authorized by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Learn more about the development of COVID-19 vaccines here.

How do mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) work?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are mRNA vaccines. This type of vaccine is new and does not require putting a weakened or inactivated virus into your body. Instead, mRNA is used to teach our cells how to make a protein found on the COVID-19 virus that will trigger the desired immune response. The immune response then allows your body to produce antibodies, which will protect you by fighting the real virus if you get infected. Shortly after the immune response, your body will break down and get rid of the mRNA instructions from the vaccine. Learn more about mRNA vaccines here.

How do viral vector vaccines (Janssen) work?

The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) is a viral vector vaccine. This type of vaccine uses a different kind of virus that is weakened and live to deliver a set of instructions from the COVID-19 virus to your cells. The instructions show your body how to make a protein found on the COVID-19 virus, which will trigger the desired immune response. Your body will then produce antibodies that will protect you from the real virus if you get infected. Learn more about viral vector vaccines here.

Do the vaccines give you COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines use the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines here.

Can the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines change your DNA?

No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines can alter your genetic makeup (DNA). The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines do use mRNA. However, mRNA is unable to change your DNA because it cannot enter the nucleus of your cells, which is where your DNA lives in your body. This means mRNA does not interact with your DNA, therefore it cannot change it.  Learn more about mRNA vaccines here.

Does the vaccine protect against other strains of COVID-19?

Current studies suggest the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are effective against other strains (also known as variants) of the virus. However, additional research is needed to further assess. Learn more about COVID-19 variants here.

Who should and should not get the vaccine?

Each vaccine is different, so it is important to read about each vaccine before you decide if it is right for you.

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Approved for ages 12 and older
  • You should NOT get this vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.
  • You should NOT get this vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of this vaccine.
  • Pfizer-BioNTech ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, sucrose.

Read more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine here.

Moderna

  • Approved for ages 18 and older
  • You should NOT get this vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.
  • You should NOT get this vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of this vaccine.
  • Moderna ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, sucrose.

Read more about the Moderna vaccine here.

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

  • Approved for ages 18 and older
  • You should NOT get this vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) ingredients: recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride.

Read more about the Janssen vaccine here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

Immunize Nevada

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources

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