Sacramento County: COVID-19 Testing/Vaccination FAQs, Myths & Sources

As COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in the Sacramento region and across the s​tate, increasing vaccination rates in our community remains the most powerful tool to ending the pandemic. With added FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine and vaccine clinics throughout the community, it’s easier than ever to get vaccinated. For those still on the fence about the COVID vaccine here are a few FAQs and myths. 

What does ​FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine mean?

The FDA has given full approval for the Pfizer vaccine (now called Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee) for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine will continue to be available under the EUA for youth age 12-15 and third dose for immunocompromised individuals. This approval means the vaccine has been through a rigorous review process and determined by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research that the provided benefits outweigh any known and potential risks for the intended population.  

Learn more about the FDA approval

​Can peo​ple that are vaccinated still get and spread COVID-19?

Yes, someone fully vaccinated could potentially still contract or even spread COVID-19. However, the vaccine is very effective against severe symptoms and disease and most notably, death. Those with less sym​​ptoms are also less likely to spread COVID-19. The vast majority of those that end up hospitalized or die from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. 

Can receiving a COVID-19 vaccine cause you to be magnetic?

No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.

Learn more about the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States

Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States shed or release any of their components?

No. Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body. Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. contain a live virus. mRNA and viral vector vaccines are the two types of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines available.

Learn more about mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines.

​Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?

Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that female or male fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more about vaccine safety

​Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept.

Learn more about mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines.

​Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test? 

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.

Should I go to the Emergency Room to get a COVID test if I have symptoms or have a known exposure?

No. The Emergency room should be reserved for people with severe illness or life-threateni​ng symptoms. Sacramento County has 13 community testing locations that are easy to access, free and accept walk-ins. They have antigen testing that produces rapid results in as little as 30 minutes. Individuals can also contact their primary care provider for testing. 

“The vaccine is the best resource currently available to fight COVID 19 and end the pandemic,” says Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. “With the FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine and continued education and outreach to the community, our hope is more people will choose to get vaccinated.” 

For additional information regarding COVID vaccine, a list of vaccine clinic locations and to make an appointment visit the Sacramento County COVID vaccination page​. ​