What are the different COVID-19 vaccines that are available?

Coronavirus / Sanitas Medical Center

Date: February 17, 2021
What are the different COVID-19 vaccines that are available?

Currently, in the United States, the supply of the vaccine for COVID-19 is limited. Each state has its own plan about how to vaccinate the population and is working on who gets vaccinated first. To date, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has issued an emergency use authorization for 3 vaccines: The Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, both of which require two doses, and the Johnson and Johnson / Janssen single-shot vaccine. There are others that remain in development and will eventually request authorization. 

Currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines

 

  • Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine:
    • For this vaccine you should receive the second dose 3 to 6 weeks after the first one. It is recommended for people over 16 years old, and is given as an injection into the muscle on the upper arm. The side effects with this vaccine are mild to moderate. Among the most common are fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. And they occur most commonly after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. An immediate allergic reaction can develop within 4 hours after getting vaccinated. Some symptoms that occur are swelling or shortness of breath. If you are likely to have an immediate or severe allergic reaction, you should not get the vaccine.

 

In people without evidence of previous infection, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective based on evidence from clinical trials.

 

  • Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine: 
    • For this vaccine you should receive the second dose 4 to 6 weeks after the first one. This vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle. It can be used in people 18 years of age and older. If you received the first dose of this vaccine, you should receive the second dose of the same vaccine, and not from any other brand. Also, it should not be used if you had a severe allergic reaction after the first dose. Some signs of a severe allergic reaction could include dizziness and weakness, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, and a skin rash on the body.

 

Side effects that have been shown with this vaccine include reactions of swelling and pain in the injection area, headache and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, and fever. In general, after the second dose, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19.

 

  • Johnson and Johnson / Janssen COVID-19 vaccine: 
    • This vaccine is a single-shot vaccine. Once you get the vaccine, you are considered fully vaccined two weeks after your shot. It can be used in people 18 years of age and older. If it has not been two weeks since your shot, you must still take the suggested precautions from the CDC until the two weeks have passed. Also, it should not be used if you have had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in the J&J/Janssen vaccine, such as polysorbate. 

 

Side effects that have been shown with this vaccine include reactions of pain, redness and swelling in the arm where you got the shot. Other side effects may include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and/or nausea. In general, the J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials at preventing symptomatic Covid-19.

 

Who can get the vaccine now?

The first phase covers health workers. The second phase will cover people over 65 or over 16 who have a medical condition that increases their risk of getting sick from COVID-19, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, respiratory and heart diseases, among others.

 

Depending on supplies, the vaccine could be available to the general public by the middle of this year 2021.