Weeks have passed since the CDC announced that the Covid-19 vaccine is an effective way to prevent the disease and approved it for adults back in April; many researchers are still learning about how effective the vaccines are against the Covid-19 variants, how well the vaccines work for those with weakened immune systems, and how the vaccines can protect people long-term. As the CDC continues to update people regarding the vaccinations, many people waiting for their first or second dose of the vaccine may experience some side effects.
Although you may not be able to choose which vaccine you can get, we can help inform you about the various side effects that may occur once you’ve received your vaccinations and help you prepare for how to proceed knowing you’ve been vaccinated.
How Do The Vaccinations Differ?
Vaccinations from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson have been in constant distribution throughout the United States and the rest of the world. With these three vaccines being authorized by the FDA, understanding what makes each of these different and what side effects are most usual with them can be helpful to know by the time you’re scheduled for your appointment.
Below, we’ll outline these three vaccines available within the US in greater detail and note their side effects:
- Pfizer-BioNTech: As the first vaccine to be approved by the FDA, it has a 95% effectiveness against Covid-19 disease and its symptoms for those without prior infection. It works as a messenger mRNA vaccine, delivering a piece of the genetic code from the virus to the host cells in the body. This relative and new technology allow the cells to gain instructions to create proteins and trigger an immune system response to produce antibodies. It is also reported to be 95% effective against the UK and South African variants. Common side effects include headaches, chills, tiredness, and swelling at the injection site.
- Moderna: As the second authorized vaccine, the Moderna vaccine also uses MRNA technology to help the cells produce proteins and initiate an immune system response. It has a 94.1% effectiveness rate at preventing infection from Covid-19, and because of its laxer storage procedures, the vaccine has become easier to distribute. However, for those 65 and older, the Moderna vaccine was less effective at 86%. Common side effects include chills, headaches, swelling and redness from the vaccination site, muscle pain, and tiredness.
- Johnson & Johnson: Through the Johnson & Johnson company, this vaccine uses a carrier or virus vector to create an immunity response. However, the vaccine does come with a warning about an uncommon but potentially deadly blood-clotting disorder when administered. Because it requires one single shot instead of two, the vaccine is easier to store and has been shown to have an efficiency of 72% overall and 86% against severe disease. Side effects from the vaccine include fatigue, fevers, muscle group pain, and injection site pain.
Protecting Yourself and Others During Covid-19
If you’re considered fully vaccinated, the best resource to follow is the CDC guidelines for protecting yourself and others. If not, please make sure you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or urgent care center for your vaccination today!