Do the COVID vaccines use a live virus?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Jason Villareal, MSN, RN, NP-BC explains that the COVID vaccines do not use a live virus and cannot give you COVID.

This vaccine is not a live virus. It’s not a live vaccine, so it’s not possible to actually give somebody COVID. And basically, it’s putting something into your body that kind of makes your body think it’s COVID. It’s a particular protein. It’s to create an antibody to a particular protein that the actual COVID virus itself has. So that when it sees the real thing, it would react the same way as if it was this vaccine. And so, it doesn’t actually have virus in it.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

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COVID-19 vaccines are available FREE to everyone ages 12 and older in the U.S. regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Use Vaccines.gov to find a location near you.