COVID-19 vaccine: I’m young and healthy. Do I need the vaccine?


Your COVID-19 Questions Answered. VA is listening to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and hosting a blog series on questions from Veterans. Tell us what you think.

I’m young and I don’t have any chronic health conditions. Why should I get the vaccine?

You should get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you are young or if you don’t have any chronic health conditions because the effects of COVID-19 are unpredictable. The CDC reports that even though many people with a COVID-19 infection only have a mild illness, some become very sick from COVID-19. Even for those without an increased risk from advanced age or chronic health conditions, your symptoms can be severe or long-lasting. In extreme cases, you could even die.

You should receive the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure you are protected from a severe illness from COVID-19.

I’m not overweight, and I keep in good shape by exercising frequently. Why should I get the vaccine?

The CDC reports that obesity increases the risk of severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19, but people of every weight remain at risk of infection. While regular exercise is a great way to maintain healthy living, it will not protect you from COVID-19 infection.

Even if you are in good shape, you should still receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect against severe illness from COVID-19.

In addition to protecting my health, I’ve heard that getting the vaccine can help others too. Why should I get the vaccine?

An additional benefit of getting the COVID-19 vaccine is contributing to “herd immunity,” also referred to as “community immunity.” Community immunity occurs when a large part of a population is immune to a disease, making it much harder for that disease to spread.

It can even protect those who cannot be vaccinated, like babies. The number of people necessary to achieve community immunity is different for every disease. Scientists are working to determine how many people need to be vaccinated to achieve community immunity to COVID-19.

When you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you will help us reach community immunity and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions and remember to follow good health habits in the meantime. To keep it simple, follow the three W’s: wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance from others!

To learn more, you can review CDC information about COVID-19 and vaccination.


Note: updated April 7, 2021, with opening sentence.


Veterans Health Administration


  1. Michael t. Smith    

    If I can’t receive the vaccine due to religious beliefs will it affect my benefits?

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