Should I Get the Vaccine?

As more and more information becomes available regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, the Kansas Health Foundation wants to help Kansans understand more about the vaccine itself, potential schedules for receiving it, and how it could benefit health in the state.


As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, the largest vaccination program in the history of the United States is now underway. With this development comes the inevitable questions of what this means for individuals, families and organizations. On this page, as well as other pages in this section, the Kansas Health Foundation has attempted to outline some of the most common information and provide answers to the most pressing questions facing Kansans. More information can also be found on printable handouts in English, Spanish and both languages.


The state of Kansas has released its plans for vaccine availability by population. This plan, which divides Kansans into five tiers, has now moved into Phase 5. In this phase, all Kansans ages 12 years and older are eligible to receive a vaccine. This includes all groups who were eligible in phases 1-4.

Learn more by viewing the complete plan here.


On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This authorization allowed for the domestic distribution of a vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. One week later, a similar authorization was given for the distribution of a second COVID-19 vaccine option, this one developed by Moderna. While each of these vaccines requires two doses, on Feb. 27. 2021, authorization was given for a single-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.

During this approval process, the FDA closely analyzes studies of the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates. By granting approval for the vaccines, the FDA has deemed them safe and effective for use. Even after a vaccine is approved, a vaccine safety monitoring system goes into effect, which continues to examine the safety of vaccines as they are more widely used.

Many people have questions about potential vaccine side effects. According to the FDA, “the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19).” As more people receive the vaccines, multiple health agencies will continue to monitor these reactions and side effects.


All Kansans age 12 years and older are encouraged to get the vaccine, to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Until you can get fully vaccinated, it is recommended to continue precautions to protect you from getting the virus:

  • Wear a mask: Cover your nose and mouth with a mask when out in public. Masks offer some protection to you and are also meant to protect those around you, in case you are unknowingly infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Scientific studies show that you need to scrub for 20 seconds to remove harmful germs and chemicals from your hands. If you don’t have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Distance yourself from others: Stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Watch these videos: Learn more about how to protect yourself and others.

COVID-19: Now What?

COVID-19: Helping Others

COVID-19: Next Steps


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