There are two vaccines currently authorized and recommended by the CDC to prevent COVID-19: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine & Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This article covers common side effects, a summary of data from the clinical trials, and how effective the vaccines are.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273)

  • 2 shots, 28 days (one month) apart
  • Shot in the muscle of the upper arm
  • Does not contain: eggs, preservatives, latex
  • Recommended for people 18+

Click here for a full list of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine ingredients

Common side effects

Arm where shot was received: pain, swelling, redness
Throughout whole body: chills, tiredness, headache
Side effects usually start within a day or two of getting vaccinated. May feel like flu symptoms, may affect ability to do daily activities.

Safety Data

In clinical trials, side effects which occur within 7 days of getting vaccinated were common, but mostly mild to moderate in severity.
Side effects through the body were more common after the second vaccine dose.
While most side effects were mild to moderate, a small amount of people did have severe side effects which affected their ability to do daily activities.

How well does the vaccine work?

Based off the evidence of the clinical trials, the vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19 in people who received both doses who had no evidence of previous infection.
The vaccine appeared to be highly effective during clinical trials among persons of diverse age, sex, race, ethnicity, as well as persons with underlying medical conditions.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162B2)

  • 2 shots 21 days (3 weeks) apart
  • Shot in the muscle of the upper arm
  • Does not contain: eggs, preservatives, latex
  • Recommended for people 16+

Click here for a full list of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine ingredients 

Common side effects

In arm of shot received – pain, swelling, redness
Throughout whole body – chills, tiredness, headache
Side effects usually start within a day or two of getting vaccinated. May feel like flu symptoms, may affect ability to do daily activities.

Safety Data

In clinical trials, side effects which occur within 7 days of getting vaccinated were common, but mostly mild to moderate in severity.
Side effects through the body were more common after the second vaccine dose.
While most side effects were mild to moderate, a small amount of people did have severe side effects which affected their ability to do daily activities.

How well does the vaccine work?

Based off evidence from the clinical trials, the vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 in people without evidence of previous infection.

For more information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

Reminders from the CDC

You will need 2 shots in order for the vaccine to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

For your safety and the safety of others around you during the vaccination process, remember to utilize PPE and sanitary products.

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