Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Vaccine to Prevent COVID-19

Vaccine to Prevent COVID-19

Overview

The COVID-19 vaccine can help you avoid getting COVID-19.

The number of doses you need depends on which vaccine you get. It also depends on your age and health. Most people also need "booster" doses later to help them stay protected. You are considered to be up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines when you've received all the recommended doses and booster doses.

The vaccine prevents many cases of COVID-19. But if you do still catch COVID-19, your symptoms will probably be less severe than if you hadn't gotten the vaccine. You can't get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Who should get the vaccine?

Everyone who is able to get the vaccine should get it as soon as possible. The more people who get vaccinated, the better we'll be able to slow the spread of the virus.

The vaccine is extra important for people who are at high risk. This includes people who may be exposed to COVID-19 more often because of their jobs. It also includes people who are at high risk for complications from COVID-19 if they catch it. Some examples of people at high risk include those who:

  • Work in health care.
  • Are considered essential workers.
  • Have certain health conditions.
  • Are older than age 65.

If you've already had COVID-19, you may still be able to catch it again. Getting the vaccine gives you extra protection.

Why should you get the vaccine?

Getting vaccinated will help protect you from COVID-19. It will also help protect others around you from getting the virus, including people who are more likely to get very sick or die from COVID-19. If you get the virus, you could spread it to friends, family, and other people in your community—including those who are at high risk.

The vaccine is one of the best ways to help the pandemic end sooner so things can return to normal. That means being able to safely go out and see friends and family, meet new people, and do all the things you enjoy. Getting vaccinated can help save lives and help your community thrive.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

You might not have side effects. But if you do, they'll probably be like those of other vaccines, including:

  • Fever.
  • Soreness.
  • Feeling very tired.

This is normal. Your body is building protection against COVID-19.

You may also have other side effects, including:

  • Chills.
  • Headache.
  • Pain, redness, a rash, or swelling in the arm where you had the vaccine.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit of the arm where you had the vaccine.
  • Nausea.

Side effects will likely go away in a few days. Until then, it may be harder to do your usual activities.

If you think you've been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms like a cough, trouble breathing, or a new loss of smell or taste, call your doctor. These aren't vaccine side effects. You need a COVID-19 test.

How can you care for yourself after getting the vaccine?

  • If you have a sore arm or a fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the sore area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • If you have side effects, such as a fever, be sure to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details