Which COVID-19 vaccine brand is right for me?

Coronavirus Updates

(ABC4) – On March 24, all Utahns aged 16 and older can schedule appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, three brands of the vaccine have been authorized for use in the United States: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

BELOW: Photos show the different brands of COVID-19 vaccine

Although the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been cleared for use in the United States, clinical trials in America show that the vaccine provides strong protection against the virus.

Of the three vaccines currently being offered to United States residents, there are differences in things like vaccine type, age of eligibility, number of doses, and effectiveness. Though people may not have the choice of which vaccine brand they receive, it may be helpful to know how they differ.

The following information is the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Type of vaccine: mRNA

Who can receive the vaccine? The vaccine is recommended for those aged 16 and older.

Effectiveness: 95%

Number of doses: Two doses received 21 days or three weeks apart

Severity of side effects: In clinical trials, recipients commonly experienced side effects within seven days following the vaccine, though those were mild to moderate. Side effects such as fever, chills, fatigue, and headache were more common after the second dose. A small number of people experienced severe side effects- those that affected their ability to engage in everyday activities.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Type of vaccine: mRNA

Who can receive the vaccine? People aged 18 and older can receive the vaccine.

Effectiveness: 94.1%

Number of doses: Two doses received 28 days apart

Severity of side effects: Mild to moderate side effects were common within the first seven days of receiving the vaccine. In clinical trials, a small number of people experienced side effects that affected their ability to complete daily activities. Side effects like fever, chills, fatigue, and headaches were more commonly felt after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Type of vaccine: Viral vector

Who can receive the vaccine? People 18 years old and older can receive the vaccine.

Effectiveness? 66.3%

For those who did get sick after receiving the vaccine, it was effective at preventing hospitalization and death. No one who contracted the virus within four weeks of receiving the vaccine needed to be hospitalized, according to the CDC.

Number of doses: One dose

Severity of side effects: Clinical trials revealed that mild to moderate side effects were common within seven days of receiving the vaccine. Side effects were more common in people aged 18 to 59 than in people 60 years old and older.

Information about all COVID-19 vaccine brands:

All brands may cause side effects that usually begin within a day or two of receiving the vaccine, the CDC says. The website states that side effects can include pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. Recipients may also experience fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.

Those who have experienced a severe or immediate allergic reaction- even if it wasn’t severe, to the first vaccine dose or are severely allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine should not get the vaccine.

ABC4 has answered multiple questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are answers to just a few of them:

Can I donate blood after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

Those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer have no deferral time. That means that as long as you are symptom free and feeling well at the time of your donation, you can donate blood without waiting.

Eligible blood donors who receive a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait two weeks before giving blood.

How long should I wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine after having the virus?

The only “rule” about being vaccinated after being infected with the virus is that people must have completed the quarantine period and be symptom-free.

However, since the rate of reinfection is low during the 90 days following infection, people may choose to wait to get vaccinated until the 90 days have passed.

Do the vaccines have microchips in them?

No. ABC4 spoke to two University of Utah professors about the origins of the conspiracy theory.

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