LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COVID19 VACCINES
WHAT COVID19 VACCINES ARE APPROVED IN THE UNITED STATES?
As of March 1, 2021, there are three vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) commonly known as Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Below is a comparison table identifying the Strategy, Efficacy, Dosage, and Side Effects of each vaccine. Learn more about the vaccines from the CDC.
IS THE COVID19 VACCINE SAFE?
First, it is important to know that the COVID19 vaccines do not cause the disease COVID19. The goal of the vaccines is to teach our immune system how to fight the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID19. The three vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization for only adults and older teens (not children) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA’s high safety standards are globally recognized, and the safety of COVID19 vaccines will continually be monitored to ensure even very rare side effects are identified.
HOW DO THE COVID19 VACCINES WORK?
Think of your immune system like an Emergency Preparedness Plan: BE AWARE, BE PREPARED, BE READY. Vaccines work with your immune system by making your body aware and prepared for the potential virus so that your body will be ready to fight the virus if exposed. It does this by prompting an immune response to a part of the virus – a specific protein code on the spikes of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine prepares your body to build its own arsenal of germ fighting white blood cells called B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. Once your own white blood cells defeat the vaccine-specific protein code, your body remains prepared by keeping a “memory” supply of these particular B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes, so that if you become exposed to the real virus, your body is ready to fight.
You should know that sometimes, after vaccination, the process of building the immune response can cause symptoms, such as pain at the injection site and fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Also, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. So, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID19 just before or just after vaccination, and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.