COVID-19 vaccines work well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. Compared to people who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, unvaccinated people are more likely to get COVID-19, much more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and much more likely to die from COVID-19.
Although COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, research and development on vaccines like these have been underway for decades. All vaccine development steps were taken to ensure COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness, including clinical trials, authorization or approval and safety tracking.
Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection. Some people who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations will get COVID-19 breakthrough infection. However, staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations means that you are less likely to have a breakthrough infection and, if you do get sick, you are less likely to get severely ill or die. Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination also means you are less likely to spread the disease to others and increases your protection against new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.