COVID Q&A

The FDA is working to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and keep you and your family informed on the latest developments. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions from consumers about prevention, vaccines, clinical trials, and vaccine side effects.

Q: How can I prevent COVID-19?

A: The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. They include:

  • Wash your hands often with plain soap and water. The CDC recommends washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Learn more about safely using hand sanitizer.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others. Follow CDC guidance on social distancing and mask wearing. Find more information about how to select, wear, and clean your mask.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered to you. Once you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

Q: Are there any vaccines or other medical products available to prevent COVID-19?

A: Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.

Additionally, the FDA is working with other vaccine developers, researchers, and manufacturers to help expedite the development and availability of medical products such as additional vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and other drugs to prevent or treat COVID-19. 

For information about vaccine clinical trials for COVID-19 visit clinicaltrials.gov and the COVID-19 Prevention Network. Note: The information on clinicaltrials.gov is provided by the sponsor or principal investigator of a clinical trial. The listing of a study on the site does not reflect evaluation or endorsement of the trial by the federal government.

Q: How do I report COVID-19 vaccine side effects?

A: If you experience a severe allergic reaction or any life-threatening symptoms – such as trouble breathing – call 911, or go to the nearest hospital.

Call the vaccination provider or your health care provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

Report vaccine side effects to the FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) by calling 1-800-822-7967 or going online. Please include the name of the vaccine in the first line of box #18 of the report form.

You may also be given an option to enroll in v-safe. V-safe is a new voluntary smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to check in with vaccinated people to identify potential side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe asks questions that help CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe also provides second-dose reminders, if needed, and live telephone follow-up by CDC if participants report a significant health impact following COVID-19 vaccination. For more information on how to sign up, visit: www.cdc.gov/vsafe.

For the latest information about COVID-19, visit:

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.