COVID-19 Update: Vaccines arrive, bringing new questions

As the COVID-19 vaccine starts becoming more available, University Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bryan Alsip answers a new set of frequently asked questions about how it works, how long it lasts, and when we can take off our masks (not quite yet).

  • How much protection does a first shot give?
  • How soon do you start developing immunity after the first shot?
  • What do I do if I feel bad after getting the vaccine?
  • What happens if I don’t get my second shot?
  • What happens if the second dose is delayed for some reason?
  • Is the booster different from the initial dose?
  • Do we know how long the vaccine protection lasts?
  • Could I get a different vaccine if that’s available when time comes for my second shot?
  • Should pregnant women receive the vaccine?
  • Should I get the vaccine even if I’ve already had COVID-19?
  • When I am vaccinated can I quit wearing a mask?
  • If I and my friends are all vaccinated, can we go without masks with each other?
  • Does the vaccine prevent the illness or just symptoms?