COVID-19 Vaccines

As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, HII and its divisions strongly urge employees to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Doing so is one more preventative measure you can take – along with social distancing and wearing masks in public – to help combat the virus.

Have you gotten a COVID-19 vaccine? Share your story!

Willie Hurdle: Why I'm Getting the Vaccine

Willie Hurdle, a driver and dispatcher at Newport News Shipbuilding, says it’s important to get a vaccine to allow us all to get back to where we were before the virus.
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Mike Petters on the COVID-19 Vaccine

“Here’s an opportunity for us to actually do something for someone else. Let’s get the vaccine, not just for yourself and for your family and for your friends, but also get it for your team.”
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Vaccinations Begin at NNS

Learn why some of the first employees at Newport News Shipbuilding who received the COVID-19 vaccine decided to get it.

Brian Veale of Technical Solutions

Vaccine Q&As

What types of COVID-19 vaccines have been approved?
Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the United States. Vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both require two shots, administered several weeks apart to be fully effective. A third, made by Johnson & Johnson, was approved by the CDC on Feb. 28. It requires just a single dose.

When will it be my turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Each state has its own plan for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first. You can contact your state health department for more information on its plan for COVID-19 vaccination.

How does the vaccine work?

Has the COVID-19 vaccine been properly tested?
All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different races, ethnicities, and ages, including adults over the age of 65. There were no serious safety concerns.

Is it safe to get a vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition?
People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines provided they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.

Will there be side effects if I get vaccinated?
Yes, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects should go away in a few days. If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

Why should I get vaccinated?
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Health experts also believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. And getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If I get two shots of the vaccine, do I still need to wear a mask in public?
Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that you wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can I get a vaccine while I am currently sick with COVID-19?
No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.

If I have already have COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

What is the V-safe app?
V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. More information about the app can be found at:

Which lasts longer, immunity after getting COVID-19 or protection from COVID-19 vaccines?
Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

How quickly do I need to get the second COVID-19 shot?
It depends on the type of vaccination you receive. For the vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech, the second shot is supposed to be after three weeks. For Moderna, it’s four weeks. You should get some degree of protection within two weeks of the first shot, with the second shot bringing about the vaccine’s full protection. The healthcare professional administering your first shot will let you know when it’s time to get the second one.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine works on new variants?
So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
Yes. People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration