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Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
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How Does The Pfizer Covid Vaccine Work

What Happens If You Do Not Get A Vaccine

How do mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work?

Getting a vaccine is not compulsory. However, people who do not get a vaccine are at increased risk of developing COVID-19 than those who receive one.

Some people are unable to get a COVID-19 vaccine for health reasons. Other people may choose not to.

The FDA state that it is an individual choice as to whether someone does or does not receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Choosing not to receive a vaccine will not impact their standard of medical care in the U.S.

People who do not get a vaccine should take care to follow safety guidelines to reduce the risk.

How Does The Astrazeneca Covid

AstraZenecas vaccine uses adenovirus-vectored technology, a harmless, modified version of a common cold virus that usually spreads among chimpanzees. This altered virus cant make you sick, but it carries a gene from the novel coronavirus spike protein, the portion of the virus that triggers an immune response. This allows the immune system to manufacture antibodies that work against COVID-19, teaching your body how to respond should you become infected.

In other words, AstraZenecas vaccine mimics a COVID-19 infection without its life-threatening side effects, per a release from the company. The reason researchers chose a chimpanzee adenovirus is simple: The modified virus needs to be new to the people being vaccinated otherwise, the body wont create those all-important, unique antibodies. Johnson & Johnsons vaccine also relies on similar adenovirus-vectored tech.

Which Vaccine Will I Get

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you.

Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.

For example:

  • if you’re pregnant or under 40 you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
  • if you’re under 18, you’ll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had serious side effects after your 1st dose.

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Ive Heard The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Is Less Effective Than The Pfizer And Moderna Vaccines Your Thoughts

We have really done ourselves a disservice with how wildly effective the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are. No one is going to say they dont want a highly effective vaccine. We are all grateful, but at the start of the pandemic if you said you were going to produce a 60% effective vaccine, that would have been beyond most peoples wildest dreams. Compare that to the flu , which can be 50% to 60% effective some years.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found to be 72% effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. Across the board, it was around 66%. I think part of the reason is because it was studied later in the pandemic. Now there are more of these variants out there. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was less effective in South Africa, where one of the variants has appeared. It was 57% in South Africa. I think if you were to test the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines now, they might be less effective because of the variants.

These Vaccines Are Safe Right

Understanding mRNA COVID

If it has emergency use authorization from the FDA, it has been held to a very high safety standard. These vaccine trials have had just massive amounts of patients. There have been at least 30,000 patients in each one of these trials, and Johnson & Johnsons had 43,000 people. There were no harm signals in the Johnson & Johnson trials.

We have a few reports of possible severe adverse effects from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Reports of severe adverse effects are being monitored and investigated closely. We still have to collect long-term safety data. For any immediate issues, those are usually collected in the vaccine trials. We have months of data now that show the vaccines are safe.

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Why Keep Mrna Supercold

The most important challenge for development of a mRNA vaccine remains its inherent instability, because it is more likely to break apart above freezing temperatures.

Modification of the mRNA building blocks and development of the particles that can cocoon it relatively safely have helped the mRNA vaccine candidates. But this new class of vaccine still requires unprecedented freezer conditions for distribution and administration.

Where Does The Vaccine Go

Here’s a peer-reviewed study that shows where intramuscular vaccines travel in macaques . Vaccines mostly remain near the site of injection and local lymph nodes.

This makes sense: Lymph nodes produce white blood cells and antibodies to protect us from disease. A key part of the lymphatic system, lymph nodes also clean up fluids and remove waste materials. Finding pieces of spike protein in the lymph nodes is completely normal, because lymph nodes act as the trash removal service for the body. That means the vaccine did its job and will be cleared from the body.

Another peer-reviewed study tested exactly where an mRNA vaccine went in mice. Most of the mRNA vaccine stayed in the injection site muscle where you get the shot. Look at Table 1. A lot of mRNA vaccine was found in local lymph nodes, which peaked about eight hours after the shot was given. A much smaller amount of mRNA vaccine went to farther away lymph nodes.

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What About New Variants

In some parts of the world, new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have emerged. While concerning, this is normal because viruses evolve over time.

It is likely that the Pfizer vaccine will still be effective against current variants. A preview of a paper that looks at one particular mutation, present in variants first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, suggests that the Pfizer vaccine still works against them.

  • pain and swelling around the injection site
  • chills

CDC do not believe they pose a specific risk during pregnancy. However, there is currently limited evidence to confirm this.

Animal studies on the effects of the Pfizer vaccine found no direct or indirect risks to pregnancy or the health of the fetus. Another mRNA vaccine by Moderna had similar results.

In February 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech announced they would begin human trials, testing their COVID-19 vaccine on 4,000 healthy pregnant adult females. These trials are still ongoing.

If someone is unsure whether they should get the Pfizer vaccine due to being pregnant, they can discuss their concerns with a doctor. Some may be more comfortable waiting for the results of human trials, while others may want to get a vaccine as soon as they can.

COVID-19 does pose an increased risk of severe illness during pregnancy.

If I Got The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Can I Also Get Pfizer Or Moderna To Increase Protection

What The COVID Vaccine Does To Your Body

Mixing COVID-19 vaccine doses from different manufacturers is not recommended. There is very little data on safety and immune responses with mixed vaccines.

More than 13 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Johnson & Johnson has reported that its vaccine is effective against Delta. One recent study, which has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, suggests that its vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant than other vaccines. This has prompted discussion over whether Johnson & Johnson recipients might also need a booster. But the first study to assess the vaccine against the Delta variant in the real world reported an efficacy of up to 71% against hospitalization and up to 95% against death.

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Why Do They Use Spike Proteins

For COVID-19 vaccines, all of the approved vaccines so far used the spike protein. The spike protein is located on the outside of a coronavirus and is how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells. Its location on the outside of the virus makes it so the immune system can recognize it easily.

The spike protein is unique to SARS-CoV-2 it doesn’t look like other proteins your body makes. So antibodies created against the spike protein won’t harm your body, they will only target coronavirus.

How Long Do Mrna And Spike Proteins Last In The Body

Vaccines generally work by introducing a piece of a virus or bacteria into your body so you can develop long-lasting immunity to the pathogen. While the piece introduced by the vaccine rapidly fades away, your body’s immune system remembers what it saw. When it encounters the virus or bacteria in the real world it mounts a strong immune response preventing or decreasing the severity of infection.

Some have expressed concern that the spike protein or other parts of the mRNA vaccines build up in the body, particularly in the ovaries or the brain. Here we break down the data to show where mRNA vaccines travel in the body. There is no evidence that any mRNA or protein accumulates in any organ.

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What You Need To Know

  • Messenger RNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
  • Like all vaccines, mRNA vaccines benefit people who get vaccinated by giving them protection against diseases like COVID-19 without risking the potentially serious consequences of getting sick.
  • mRNA vaccines are newly available to the public. However, researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
  • CDC recommends that people who are starting their vaccine series or getting a booster dose get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna . The mRNA vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnsons Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in most circumstances, but the J& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.
  • The same COVID-19 mRNA vaccine product should be used for both doses of a two-dose primary series and for an additional primary dose, if needed. However, for a booster dose, the booster dose product does not need to match the product used for the primary series.
  • Learn more about getting your vaccine.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines also called mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized and approved for use in the United States.

How Well The Second Dose Works

Why you

In the early clinical trials, researchers studied how much of the mRNA to include in each dose of the Pfizer vaccine and how many doses people should have. They measured the level of antibodies in the blood that were produced after each dose and developed the two-dose primary schedule at least 3 weeks apart.

After the first dose

After the first dose, the antibody levels were much lower compared to those seen after natural infection with COVID-19.

After the second dose

After the second dose, the antibody levels were higher than those seen after the first dose, and higher than those seen after natural infection.

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Booster Shots And Additional Primary Doses

A booster shot is for people who built enough protection after completing their primary vaccine series, but then that protection decreased over time. Everyone ages 16 years and older who is fully vaccinated can get a booster. Learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

An additional primary dose is for people who did not build enough or any protection from their primary vaccine series. This appears to be the case for some immunocompromised people who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Currently, moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who completed their Moderna vaccine primary series should plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot. People ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine primary series should also plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot.

Mrna Vaccines Are Newly Available To The Public But Have Been Studied For Decades

Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. Interest has grown in these vaccines because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means vaccines can be developed and produced in large quantities faster than with other methods for making vaccines.

mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus . As soon as the necessary information about the virus that causes COVID-19 was available, scientists began designing the mRNA instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein into an mRNA vaccine.

Future mRNA vaccine technology may allow for one vaccine to provide protection against multiple diseases, thus decreasing the number of shots needed for protection against common vaccine-preventable diseases.

Beyond vaccines, cancer research has used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells.

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How Messenger Rna Vaccines Work

In order to develop these vaccines, researchers took the RNA-based genetic sequence of the coronavirus and turned it into DNA. This crucial step allowed them to identify the instructions necessary to create the spike protein, engineer corresponding synthetic mRNA and package that into their vaccines.

mRNA, as its moniker implies, is a messenger. This particular type of RNA is tasked with delivering messages to microscopic cellular machines called ribosomes, located in the cytoplasm of our cells, which are responsible for synthesizing proteins. Those ribosomes then interpret that message to make proteins and start executing its instructions, explained Phillip Sharp, a molecular biologist and MIT professor who shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his contribution to our understanding of RNA.

Dendritic cells, the watchdogs of the immune system, play an essential role in responding to pathogens. They patrol the body in search of foreign invaders and, when they find one, start stimulating an immune response. When these cells encounter mRNA thats been injected via vaccination, their ribosomes decode the message and allow the cells to temporarily display spike proteins identical to the ones found on the coronaviruss exterior, Weissman said.

Dendritic cells make the spike protein and then they present it to other immune cells and activate them to start the immune response, he added.

Q: Must Vaccine Providers Give A Hard Copy Of The Authorized Vaccine Information Fact Sheet For Recipients And Caregivers To The Individual When They Get Each Dose Of Their Vaccine

How Covishield, Covaxin & Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine Work?

A: The EUA requires vaccination providers, prior to the individual receiving the vaccine, to communicate to the recipient or their caregiver information consistent with the Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers, and either to provide a copy of the Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers or to direct the individual to the CDC’s website to obtain the fact sheet.

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When Does It Start Working

The Pfizer vaccine is given in two doses scheduled three weeks apart. It’s not ideal but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the second dose may be given up to 6 weeks after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose early.

These doses are given as injections and offer full protection two weeks after the second dose, the CDC says. The data suggest that after the first dose, some immune response is present in about two weeks.

A CDC report that tracked almost 4,000 healthcare personnel, first responders, and other frontline workers under real-world conditions found that the mRNA vaccines were 80% effective at least 14 days following the first dose and 90% effective at least two weeks after the second dose.

Do We Know Of Any Long

We do not have long-term safety data of these COVID-19 vaccines since they have only been studied in humans for about 6 months. However, unexpected long-term safety issues have not been found in any licensed vaccines, even after decades of study. There are several vaccine safety monitoring systems in the U.S., and there will be expanded COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring.

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Q What Information Is Available About Myocarditis And Pericarditis Following Vaccination With Pfizer

A. Post-authorization safety surveillance data pertaining to myocarditis and pericarditis demonstrate increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly within 7 days following the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, with the risk being higher in males under 40 years of age than in females or older males. The observed risk is highest in males 12 through 17 years of age.

The Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes a warning about the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, and the Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers include information about myocarditis and pericarditis. The Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers notes that vaccine recipients should seek medical attention right away if they experience any of the following symptoms after vaccination:

  • Chest pain

A: Yes. Providers administering Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine must report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and to Pfizer the following information associated with the vaccine of which they become aware:

  • Vaccine administration errors whether or not associated with an adverse event
  • Serious adverse events
  • Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
  • Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death

Vaccine Review Approval And Monitoring

New Study Suggests Pfizerâs COVID

Health Canada’s independent drug review process is recognized around the world for its high standards and rigor. Our decisions are based only on scientific and medical evidence showing that vaccines are safe and effective. The benefits must also outweigh any risks.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use in Canada under the Interim Order respecting the importation, sale and advertising of drugs for use in relation to COVID-19. The interim order expired on September 16, 2021. On this date, Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty®transitioned to an authorization under the Food and Drug Regulations.

Find detailed technical information such as the product monograph and the regulatory decision summary:

As COVID-19 vaccines are administered across Canada, our safety monitoring is ongoing. The Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and provincial and territorial health authorities continue to:

  • monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines closely
  • examine and assess any new safety concerns

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