Safety And Side Effects
The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved have been thoroughly reviewed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK . The regulatory team have completed a full review of the safety information reported from the trials, which includes several months follow-up data from 23,000 people for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, 44,000 people for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 30,000 people for the Moderna vaccine.
This means that the MHRA has reviewed all the information from the clinical trials of these vaccines, which includes assessing all the side effects and medical conditions that people in the trials experienced.
The number of illnesses reported in the vaccinated group is compared with the control group, to see whether the vaccine could be associated with an increase in any medical conditions. The rates of illness are also compared with the rate of those illnesses in the general population. For any severe illnesses reported, a specialist doctor involved in treating the person and an independent safety committee consider whether the illness could be associated to the vaccine.
All the information about adverse events reported during the trial has been provided to the regulators, and the safety profile of COVID-19 vaccines is similar to that of other vaccines.
Clinical Trial Demographic Information
Clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in people ages 16 years and older included people from the following racial and ethnic, age, and sex categories:
- 3% other races, multiracial, or race not reported
- < 1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
- < 1% American Indian or Alaska Native
- 73% not Hispanic or Latino
- 26% Hispanic or Latino
Mrna Vaccines Have Been In Development For Decades
mRNA vaccines have been developed through major international collaboration.
Researchers have studied and worked with mRNA vaccines for decades. This includes studies for vaccines against flu, Zika, rabies and cytomegalovirus .
Scientists have also researched past coronavirus infections . Once scientists identified the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, they could quickly adapt the technology for COVID-19.
Although its relatively new technology, this vaccine has gone through all the usual safety checks and regulations.
This includes international clinical trials to help demonstrate the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is being used worldwide and continually and closely monitored for effectiveness and safety.
You May Like: How Long Does It Take For Cvs Rapid Test Results
Common Vaccine Side Effects May Include:
|Symptoms at the injection site, such as:||More general symptoms, such as:|
A severe allergic reaction is rare. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
- swelling of the lips, face, tongue or airway
- difficulty breathing
- sudden low blood pressure
- abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea
First Some Basics About How Pfizer’s Covid
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is made using a newer technology called messenger RNA . The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which is also expected to be authorized for emergency use by the FDA soon, uses mRNA technology, too.
An mRNA vaccine works by encoding a portion of the spike protein found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . These mRNA vaccines use pieces of the encoded protein to create an immune response in your body, which then develops antibodies.
After the vaccine prompts an immune response, your body will eliminate the protein and the mRNA. However, the antibodies will stay putit’s just not known at this point how long they’ll last.
Also Check: Covid Test Cost Cvs
Everyday Common Household Ingredients
The most common ingredients are easily found within our own pantries. Some, in singular form like salt or sugar, or within popular food and drink items like Gatorade or Jell-O. To see how prevalent an ingredient is in the CAS Content Collection, we consider the number of times its Registry number has been referenced in the worlds publications and will categorize them as:
- High > 50,000
Answer From Infectious Diseases Expert David Brett
Yes, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson provided detailed information about the ingredients in their COVID-19 vaccines to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Read the information provided to the FDA.
The most important ingredient in both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is mRNA. The mRNA tells your cells how to make a protein from the coronavirus. Once your body knows how to make the protein, it can recognize COVID-19 and fight it. Learn more about how mRNA vaccines work.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses an adenovirus rather than mRNA. An adenovirus acts as a delivery vehicle, carrying the spike protein from the coronavirus. Adenoviruses, in general, cause a cold or flu-like illness. This adenovirus, though, cannot replicate , so the vaccine exposes the spike protein to your immune system without causing an on-going infection. It can be given to those who are immunosuppressed. The adenoviral vector has been used in other investigational vaccines, and approximately 200,000 people have received it.
The vaccines also contain various salts, fats and other ingredients to help your body use the mRNA. The full list of ingredients are included in the vaccine package inserts:
Read Also: How Much Is A Pcr Test At Cvs
How Comirnaty Is Given:
- a fast heartbeat
- dizziness and weakness
If you/your child experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital.Your/your childâs health care provider should inform your local public health department of any seriousside effects after vaccination.
COMIRNATY should be stored, supplied and administered by a healthcare professional.Keep out of reach and sight of children.
Table 6 Systemic Reactions In Persons Aged 12
a Mild: does not interfere with activity moderate: some interference with activity severe: prevents daily activity Grade 4: emergency room visit or hospitalization for severe fatigue, severe headache, severe muscle pain, or severe joint pain.
b Mild: 1 to 2 times in 24 hours moderate: > 2 times in 24 hours severe: requires intravenous hydration Grade 4: emergency room visit or hospitalization for severe vomiting.
c Mild: 2 to 3 loose stools in 24 hours moderate: 4 to 5 loose stools in 24 hours severe: 6 or more loose stools in 24 hours Grade 4: emergency room visit or hospitalization for severe diarrhea.
Read Also: How Much Are Cvs Covid Tests
What Share Of The Population Has Been Partly Or Fully Vaccinated Against Covid
The following charts show the breakdown of vaccinations by those that have been partly or fully vaccinated. A person is considered partly vaccinated if they have received only one dose of a 2-dose vaccine protocol. A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have received a single-dose vaccine or both doses of a two-dose vaccine.
This data is only available for countries which report the breakdown of doses administered by first and second doses.
Are Any Of The Vaccine Ingredients Toxic Or Dangerous
At the small doses planned for these vaccines, none of the chemicals above are expected to be toxic or dangerous. mRNA by itself is not dangerous. In fact, there is mRNA inside the cells of all plants and animals.
The vaccines were able to be developed quickly because these companies were already studying mRNA to make vaccines and medications against other diseases. Because of this, there is a great deal of research about all of the ingredients in Pfizer and Modernas COVID-19 vaccines in peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Since the COVID-19 vaccines use a genetic sequence instead of killed or weakened viruses to create an immune response, there is no chance you will get COVID-19 from the vaccine. It also means these vaccines are much easier to manufacture than other types of vaccines.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Pcr Test For Travel Price
How Does A Vaccine Work
The COVID-19 vaccine, just like any other vaccine, works by teaching your immune system how to defend itself against attack from the virus. The vaccine contains a harmless bit of the virus, so that your body produces white blood cells. If you were then to become infected with COVID-19, your body would have the memory of the partial bit of the virus and would be able to fight it immediately. None of the vaccines contain a live form of the virus in them.
Genny Himself Believed That Aluminium Salts Help By Binding To The Vaccines Main Ingredient The Part Resembling The Pathogen
To this day, the aluminium in vaccines is always in the form of salts. These include aluminium hydroxide , aluminium phosphate and potassium aluminium sulphate, which is sometimes found in baking powder.
Genny himself believed that aluminium salts help by binding to the vaccines main ingredient, the part resembling the pathogen, presenting it to the immune system more slowly. This might give the immune system longer to respond, and therefore lead to stronger immunity.
But this idea has gone out of fashion and the truth has proven to be a lot more complicated.
One theory is that the toxicity of aluminium salts is, paradoxically, the reason they work. They lead distressed cells to release uric acid, which activates an immune reaction normally associated with damage. Immune cells flock to the site, and start producing antibodies and voila, the vaccine has worked.
Another idea is that a receptor called Nalp3 is likely to play a central role. For a 2008 study led by Richard Flavell from Yale University, Connecticut, mice which had been genetically engineered without it were injected with a vaccine containing aluminium. Their immune response was almost non-existent. However, when they tried a vaccine using a different adjuvant one containing an emulsion of mineral oil the animals produced antibodies as usual.
Aqualene, an oil made from shark livers, is is a key ingredient in one leading squalene
Also Check: Did Hank Aaron Die From Vaccine
How Many Doses Have Been Donated By Each Country
These charts show the cumulative number of doses donated to the COVAX initiative by different countries, broken down by whether the donations have only been announced, actually donated, or delivered to the recipients. This is only available for a select number of countries for which the COVID-19 Task Force reports the necessary data.
The three following charts show the number of doses donated, adjusted for:
COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access
COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations , and the World Health Organization . COVAX coordinates international resources to enable low-to-middle-income countries equitable access to COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines.
What’s In The Vaccine
Pfizer-BioNTech and Modernas COVID-19 vaccines are both mRNA vaccines, which use a copy of a natural chemical called mRNA to provoke the bodys immune response. When the immune response is activated, it protects the body from acquiring an infection.
The RNA is packaged in a similar manner in both vaccines, which requires the use of polyethylene glycol, the chemical suspected to induce allergic reactions in a few patients who had an allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine, Sanjeev Jain, MD, PhD, board-certified allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy based on the West Coast, tells Verywell.
While research determined polyethylene glycol a polymer or substance containing very large moleculesis safe for use, sensitivity is possible and can cause reactions.
People who are allergic to PEG or polysorbate should not get an mRNA vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Pfizer-BioNTechs vaccine contains:
- Sodium acetate
The vaccine primarily contains salts and stabilizers in the forms of sugars and lipids, which dont cause allergic reactions, Jain says.
Both vaccines are similar when it comes to ingredients. The primary difference between the two is that the packaging of the RNA in the Moderna vaccine allows for storage in a regular freezer, compared to ultra-cold freezers required for the storage of the Pfizer vaccine, Jain says.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is Cvs Covid Testing
Adenovirus Type 26 Expressing The Sars
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not use mRNA, described above, to build an immune response against COVID-19. Instead, it uses a different virus, an adenovirus , to show the body what COVID-19 looks like.
The adenovirus is modified so that it is not able to cause illness or create more viruses in the body. It is designed to deliver genetic information for the COVID-19 spike protein to human cells.
Similar to the mRNA vaccines, our own bodys cells then make the COVID-19 spike protein and begin to create antibodies specifically designed to fight COVID-19, if we ever encounter the real virus.
Who Should Have The Vaccines
The aim of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is to protect those who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. Changes to recommendations in the UK vaccination programme from from the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation include:
- All adults in the UK are now eligible for first, second and booster doses. In England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, all adults over 18 can book their booster dose. In Wales, invitations to book booster doses will be sent out from the local health boards.
- The gap between the second dose and booster dose has been reduced to a minimum of three months .
- From 20th December 2021, all children aged 12-17 can book a second dose. Previously, two doses were only recommended for 16-17 year olds.
Severely Immunosuppressed Individuals:
- Fourth doses as a booster have been recommended for severely immunosuppressed individuals, a minimum of three months after their third dose.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
The JCVI recommended that women who are breastfeeding may be offered two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. There is no known risk associated with receiving non-live vaccines whilst breastfeeding.
Following advice from the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the programme has vaccinated people in the order of highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease, due to occupation, age or other risk factors. The categories are outlined below:
Who cant have the vaccines?
Recommended Reading: Cvs Covid Test Cost Without Insurance
Covid Vaccine Ingredients For Children Under 5
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 11.4 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S., with children under 4 accounting for more than 1.6 million of those cases and 3.2% of total hospitalizations due to COVID-19. As the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have begun reviewing the safety data for Pfizer and BioNTechs COMIRNATY® COVID vaccines for Emergency Use Authorization with children under the age of 5, several key questions have emerged as parents learn more and decide whether to vaccinate their children under the age of 5. While dosage amounts are different for children under the age of 5, understanding the types of ingredients that are in COVID vaccines will enable parents to make more informed decisions.
The Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices Interim Recommendation For Use Of Pfizer
Weekly / December 18, 2020 / 69 1922-1924
MMWR Early Release.
Please note: This report has been corrected. An erratum has been published.
SaraE. Oliver, MD1 JuliaW. Gargano, PhD1 Mona Marin, MD1 Megan Wallace, DrPH1,2 Kathryn G. Curran, PhD1 Mary Chamberland, MD1,3 Nancy McClung, PhD1 Doug Campos-Outcalt, MD4 RebeccaL. Morgan, PhD5 Sarah Mbaeyi, MD1 JoséR. Romero, MD6 H.Keipp Talbot, MD7 GraceM. Lee, MD8 BethP. Bell, MD9 Kathleen Dooling, MD1
Also Check: How Much Does A Rapid Test Cost At Cvs
Is Mrna Technology Safe
Although this is the first time mRNA technology has successfully been used in a vaccine, it has been in development for over a decade, with many studies and trials taking place over the past few years.
MRNA vaccines present the body with a set of instructions to help it trigger creation of the antibodies to fight coronavirus. It cannot change the DNA of a human cell.
According to Jonas Nilsen, MD and co-founder of Practio “although this is the first time mRNA vaccines have been approved for use in the UK, mRNA technology has been studied and developed for decades. The development of an mRNA vaccine is a breakthrough that could result in vaccines being developed more quickly in the future.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been tested on tens of thousands of people, and have been proven to be both highly effective and safe.”
What Our Experts Say
According to the information that AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford presented to the United Kingdom’s vaccine regulatory agency, this vaccine contains:
- A weakened adenovirus, which delivers the the COVID-19 spike glycoprotein
- L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate
- Magnesium chloride hexahydrate
- Disodium edetate dihydrate
- Water for injections
The vaccine does not include any human or animal products, thimerosal, gelatin, or formaldehyde. The vaccine doesn’t include any common allergens like egg, latex, milk, gluten, lactose, maize/corn, or peanuts, either.
The first ingredient on the listâthe weakened adenovirusâis the active ingredient in this vaccine. Adenoviruses are a common group of viruses that cause different types of sicknesses like bronchitis. Most people have been exposed to them in their lives. The AstraZeneca vaccine is made from an adenovirus that has been changed in the lab so it can’t cause harm. It has been adjusted to work as a delivery system for the vaccine. The shot gives the body instructions to create the spike protein from COVID-19 in its cells. That way, when a person is exposed to COVID-19, its immune system will recognize the part of the virus that has those spike proteins and will know how to how to fight it.
The last nine ingredients on the list are called ‘excipients.’ Excipients are the non-active ingredients that are added to the vaccine for a variety of reasons.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Antigen Test Cost
Phase Two And Three Clinical Trials Vaccine And Placebo
The efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine was tested in about 44,000 participants aged 16 years and over where COVID-19 was already circulating in communities. About half of these participants were randomised to receive the vaccine and the other half received a saline placebo.
The trial looked at how many people got COVID-19 symptoms after they were vaccinated compared to how many got COVID-19 after getting the placebo.
Participants had two doses of the vaccine or placebo, getting their second dose within 19 to 42 days after their first dose. They were then closely monitored and evaluated for at least 2 months after their second dose.