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Coronavirus

Vaccine Information

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Vaccines to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are perhaps the best hope for ending the pandemic. But as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues approving or authorizing emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines, you likely have questions. Find out about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, how they work, the possible side effects and the importance of continuing to take infection prevention steps.270706662_288634919961239_3321115402123555109_n

A COVID-19 vaccine might:

  • Prevent you from getting COVID-19  or from becoming seriously ill or dying due to COVID-19
  • Prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others
  • Add to the number of people in the community who are protected from getting COVID-19— making it harder for the disease to spread and contributing to herd immunity
  • Prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading and replicating, which allows it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines

Currently, several COVID-19 vaccines are in clinical trials. The FDA continues to review the results of these trials before approving or authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for use. But because there is an urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines and the FDA's vaccine approval process can take months to years, the FDA first gave emergency use authorization to COVID-19 vaccines based on less data than is normally required. The data must show that the vaccines are safe and effective before the FDA can give emergency use authorization or approval. Vaccines with FDA emergency use authorization or approval include:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now called Comirnaty, to prevent COVID-19 in people age 16 and older. The FDA  approved Comirnaty after data found the vaccine is safe and effective. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 91% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms in people age 16 and older.
The vaccine is still under an emergency use authorization for children ages 12 through 15. The vaccine is 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 12 through 15. It requires two injections given 21 days apart. The second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first dose, if needed.

The vaccine is now also available under an emergency use authorization for children ages 5 through 11. This vaccine is about 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5 through 11. It requires two injection, given 21 days apart. It also contains a lower dose than the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine used for people age 12 and older.

  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 with symptoms. This vaccine is authorized for people age 18 and older. It requires two injections given 28 days apart. The second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first dose, if needed.
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. In clinical trials, this vaccine was 66% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms — as of 14 days after vaccination. The vaccine also was 85% effective at preventing severe disease with COVID-19 — at least 28 days after vaccination. This vaccine is authorized for people age 18 and older. It requires one injection. The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that use of this vaccine continue in the U.S. because the benefits outweigh the risks. If you are given this vaccine, you should be educated about the possible risks and symptoms of a blood clotting problem.

The CDC recommends getting an mRNA COVID-19  vaccine over getting the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. But getting any COVID-19 vaccine is better than not getting a COVID-19 vaccine.



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