With coronavirus vaccines being distributed to community members, we’re turning a corner and looking forward to better days ahead for all of our loved ones. When it’s your turn, get your shot and encourage your loved ones to also.
Coronavirus vaccines from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer have shown strong promise in protecting against COVID-19 in clinical trials, with Moderna being 94.5% effective and Pfizer 95% effective. Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has 72% overall efficacy in the U.S., 86% efficacy rate against severe disease, and 100% against hospitalization or death.
What’s the Difference Between the Vaccines?
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are two-dose injections and are messenger RNA vaccines.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is given in one single dose and is an adenovirus vector vaccine.
In addition to the difference in dosage amounts, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine also doesn’t require the same special deep freezers that Pfizer requires. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine can be stored at regular refrigerator temperatures and is stable for up to three months at 36° to 46°F.
The Most Important Takeaway
AdventHealth experts agree that Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and we are well underway vaccinating community members.
There have been reports of certain side effects being linked to the vaccine, but none of the three company’s vaccines have caused issues that would hold up an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects
So far, the most common side effect reported from those who have received the vaccine is an injection-site reaction. The Pfizer vaccine is administered in two doses, three weeks apart, and many of the side effects reported were after people got the second dose.
In a document submitted by Pfizer to the FDA, it was reported that coronavirus vaccine side effects included:
- An injection-site reaction (84% of people had this)
- Fatigue (63% of people had this)
- Headache (55% of people had this)
- Muscle pain (38% of people had this)
- Fever (14% of people had this)
- Chills (lesser-reported side effect)
- Upset stomach (lesser-reported side effect)
The types of side effects some are feeling after the Moderna vaccine are similar to those listed above with Pfizer. For Johnson & Johnson recipients, the most common side effects have been pain at the injection site, headache and flu-like symptoms.
Overall, the symptoms may cause discomfort for some, as right now we know about 55% of people who received the vaccine experienced systemic side effects, but that’s actually a result of the immune response brought on by a vaccine. Many vaccines, including the flu shot, give some people mild symptoms.
The Bottom Line: Mild Side Effects Are Normal and Will Pass
Moderate vaccine side effects, such as headache and fatigue, are not a cause for alarm. For those who receive a two-dose vaccine, whether you do get side effects after the first dose or not, the second dose is still needed to provide protection against COVID-19.
From what we know so far, these coronavirus vaccine side effects are temporary, and shouldn’t discourage anyone from getting this potentially life-saving immunization.