Questions about COVID-19 vaccines? We’ve put the answers in one place.
Looking for guidance on how to talk to patients? We’ve rounded up culturally sensitive conversation advice.
The American Nurses Association, together with leading nursing and healthcare organizations, launched this site as a nurse’s hub for critical, current, and credible COVID-19 vaccine information. We hope it is both helpful to you and helps you educate patients and members of the communities you serve.
The COVID Vaccine Facts for Nurses campaign is proudly sponsored by:
The American Nurses Association and its collaborating organizations are solely responsible for the data and related content associated with this campaign. The campaign’s commercial sponsor was not involved in development of this content.
Now that there are several authorized COVID-19 vaccines available, accurate information is critical.
There’s a lot of it out there—and nurses are busy. Below, we’ve curated answers to key questions.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes. All COVID-19 vaccines in use went through rigorous clinical trials for safety and effectiveness. Based on results from those trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorizations.
FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to closely monitor vaccine safety.
How were vaccines developed so quickly without compromising safety?
The pandemic spurred a global response and cooperation in both vaccine research and distribution.
Researchers shared their data with other scientists, and the ability to fast-track clinical trials was a direct result of this cooperation.
In the U.S., Operation Warp Speed (OWS) partnered with multiple institutions (including the NIH and CDC) to develop, manufacture and distribute vaccines. In doing so, it increased the odds of developing one or more safe and effective vaccines. The result: several authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and abroad.
What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work?
mRNA vaccines deliver our cells instructions for making bacterial or viral protein. Our immune systems respond to these proteins and develop the ability to react to future infections.
In contrast, most vaccines use weakened or inactivated versions or components of the disease-causing pathogen to stimulate the body’s immune response to create antibodies.
mRNA vaccine technology is not new as it has been studied for decades. Beyond vaccines, numerous preclinical and clinical studies have used mRNA to encode cancer antigens to stimulate immune responses targeted at clearing or reducing malignant tumors.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting COVID-19?
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine works by teaching the immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19—protecting you from getting sick.
Being protected is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only mild symptoms, others get severely ill, may experience long-term health effects, and/or expire. There is no way to know how COVID-19 might affect you.
What PPE should I wear while vaccinating patients?
According to CDC, it is recommended that healthcare personnel administering COVID-19 vaccines wear a facemask and eye protection. Gloves are not required for vaccinations and should be utilized based on risk of exposure and contact with potentially infectious body fluids or the presence of open lesions for the provider or the patient.
Some vaccines require the use of gloves for vaccine preparation so it is also important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations prior to administering vaccines. Staff must also perform hand hygiene between each vaccination administration. Urge the importance of hand hygiene for patients and visitors that includes the use of soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Check with your workplace for specific requirements in your area.
The COVID Vaccine Facts for Nurses site is designed to provide you with critical information and expert perspectives about the safety, efficacy, and importance of vaccines—to help you make decisions for yourselves and inform and counsel both your patients and the communities you serve.
No matter what questions you have or how you prefer to learn about the COVID-19 vaccines, we have something for you.
The American Nurses Association is proud to partner with the American Nurses Foundation and other leading nurse and healthcare organizations to bring critical and current COVID-19 vaccine information to nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic.
We are grateful to Johnson & Johnson, whose generous support made this campaign possible.
This site will be updated as the vaccine rollout progresses, so please share it with your colleagues and come back often.
The American Nurses Association and its collaborating organizations are solely responsible for the data and related content associated with this campaign. The campaign’s commercial sponsor was not involved in the development of this content.