What is the COVID-19 vaccine?
In December 2020, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for emergency use of vaccines for the prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019. In February, 2021 Johnson & Johnson received Emergency Use Authorization for it’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech EUAs cover individuals age 16 years and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson EUA covers individuals 18 years and older. The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed has been working since the pandemic began to make one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible
How can a safe vaccine be made so quickly?
Vaccine development typically takes many years. However, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). That earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with COVID-19. Learn more.
Will more than one dose of COVID-19 vaccine be required?
Yes. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which recently received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, requires two doses to be effective. It is very important that you get both doses within the manufacturers’ required time frame to ensure the best protection from COVID-19. Learn more.
Does the vaccine have any side effects?
As with all vaccines, most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated, but scientists and doctors will continue to issue COVID-19 vaccine recommendations as necessary. Some studies have begun to show that COVID-19 vaccines may give a person a stronger immune response than other vaccines that people are familiar with. Your arm may be sore, red or warm to the touch. You may experience a low-grade fever, headache and just a general feeling of “not yourself.” These are signs that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to, which is produce an immune response for you to have protection against disease. This is a normal response in the process of your body building immunity. Learn more.