Different Types of COVID-19 Vaccines and What You Need to Know

Knowing what to do in times of crisis can spell the difference between life and death. With all the information out about the COVID-19 vaccines, it can be hard to keep up. Sometimes, it’s even hard to tell the difference between fake news and true news, especially regarding the pandemic.

How important is the health of you and your family? Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of the different vaccines and how you can optimally protect yourself.

Clinical Trials Confirmed Three Vaccines Are Safe and Effective

If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC says you don’t have to wear a mask anymore.

CDC: Fully-Vaccinated People Don’t Need to Mask

As of May 19th, 2021, the CDC has recommended vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen. There are two other brands of vaccines that are in Phase 3 clinical trials; these are AstraZeneca and Novavax. Regulators do not anticipate either of them being approved for use any time soon. 

The Pfizer-bioNTech Vaccine

  • This is the most popular and well-known vaccine that protects against COVID-19 and is approved for persons aged twelve and up. To be fully protected, you need to get two doses, twenty-one days apart. 
  • Two weeks after the second dose, your immune system should be fully primed to fight COVID-19.
  • The Pfizer vaccine has been determined to be 95% effective. This means that only one person in twenty is still at risk after getting the vaccine. 

The Moderna Vaccine

  • This is the second most popular vaccine and is approved for use in persons aged eighteen and up. 
  • This vaccine also requires two doses, but they should be taken twenty-eight days apart. 
  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is believed to be 94.1% effective. This means it provides only slightly less protection than the Pfizer vaccine. Full efficacy is achieved within two weeks of receiving your second dose. 
Man showing arm with plaster after getting one of covid 19 vaccines.
All Of These Vaccines Are Still Being Tested For Long-Term Safety And Efficacy (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The Johnson and Johnson / Janssen Vaccine

  • This is the third and most recently approved vaccine that can protect you against COVID-19. It is available for persons eighteen and up. Women under the age of fifty should be aware of an increased risk for blood clots. 
  • This vaccine only requires one dose to provide protection. 
  • Nobody receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who got sick at least four weeks after the shot has been hospitalized or died due to COVID-19. 
  • This vaccine only provides 66.3% protection against getting the disease. Those who do get sick have either mild symptoms or no symptoms. Persons who receive the other vaccines and still get sick are at risk of hospitalization and death. 

Other COVID-19 Vaccines in Use Overseas

  • Sinovac, a Chinese vaccine, appears to have a 94% efficacy. 
  • Sinopharm is another Chinese vaccine that has been approved by WHO for global use. 
  • Sputnik V COVID-19 is a Russian vaccine created by the Gamaleya Research Institute with about a 91% effectiveness.  
  • Covaxin is a vaccine created in India by Bharat Biotech and has about an 80% efficacy rate. 

All of these vaccines were given fast-track approval for emergency use and are still being tested for long-term safety and efficacy. Vaccine makers and other companies have demonstrated their commitment to fighting this virus and creating infrastructure to protect us in the future. Learn more about how companies are responding to the coronavirus in amazing ways.

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

The vast majority of people taking the coronavirus vaccines are not experiencing long-term side effects. Many people have experienced short-term effects, such as headache, fatigue, muscle pain, fever, and nausea. These symptoms usually clear up in about a day. Getting coronavirus has the potential to create much more severe problems, including hospitalization and death. The young and physically fit can also have long-term consequences. In My COVID-19 Story: I Thought I Was Invincible, we learn about an athlete and her long-term problems after her coronavirus infection.

Vaccine Side Effects: What to Expect After Your Covid-19 Shot

Learn how to boost your immune system and take a few additional steps that can give you an extra layer of protection. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is suspected to increase blood clots in some patients. At present, the rate of clot formation appears to be extremely low, with less than one case per 100,000 doses given. This is much lower than the chance of death from coronavirus, but health experts consider it to be a concern. Women under the age of fifty appear to be at the greatest risk for clots.  

Getting Vaccines and COVID-19 Immunity Saves Lives

It’s important to protect yourself. Getting vaccinated serves more than one purpose, however. By protecting yourself, you are also slowing the spread and protecting vulnerable people around you. The faster people get vaccinated, the sooner we can end this crisis and get the world back to normal. 

In addition to getting the vaccines, we can also take the best immune boosters to give our bodies an extra edge. Using the right supplements doesn’t just help to fight off coronavirus. They are effective in boosting the immune system against other diseases too. The coronavirus epidemic is an opportunity to improve our health in many ways.

We can look back to the beginning of the epidemic with the Coronavirus Update & Risk Q&A: Latest Developments Since US Outbreak and see how far we have come.

There are many other vaccines in addition to the three being used in the United States. The Astrazeneca vaccine is being used in Europe and Asia and, when properly taken, offers protection of over 80%.

The Novavax vaccine is still in development and has suffered many delays. These delays provide evidence that the FDA, despite the emergency, will still stop the release of a vaccine not proven to be safe. It will hopefully be ready by late summer when it could be used against a potential new wave in the United States.

The vaccines we are using required an emergency use authorization to shorten the normally long FDA approval process. The safety of the vaccines has been confirmed, but under normal circumstances, the FDA would like more time to study potential long-term effects.

Are you already vaccinated? I recommend you make an appointment as soon as possible and get the shot that will make you part of the solution.