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At this time, Pfizer’s vaccine has been authorized for emergency use to vaccinate those aged 12 and up.
The Moderna and J&J vaccines have only been authorized to vaccinate those ages 18 and up.
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Yes, the vaccines have been tested on tens of thousands of people and have passed safety requirements in Phase I, Phase II and Phase III trials. For more information, visit the trustworthy sources below for in-depth and accurate information about vaccine safety and effectiveness.
People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may might help you make an informed decision. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines.
No data is available yet on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed infants or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to breastfeeding infants. People who are breastfeeding and are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare personnel, may choose to be vaccinated.
The ingredients used in the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are simple. They contain mRNA, as well as lipids to ensure safe delivery of the mRNA that will initiate an immune response. Although FDA approved adjuvants (aluminum salts) and preservatives (ethlymercury) have a history of safe use in vaccines, they were not used by Pfizer and Moderna in this vaccine technology. Additionally, the vaccines do not include fetal tissue.
Among vaccine recipients during the Pfizer clinical trials, 8.8% reported experiencing any reaction they considered to interfere with daily activity; the most common symptoms were fatigue (4.2%), headache (2.4%), muscle pain (1.8%), chills (1.7%), and injection site pain (1.4%). Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.Among vaccine recipients during the Moderna clinical trials, 9.1% reported local injection site reaction and 16.5% reported side effects with the most common being including fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches and pains.Additionally, no specific safety concerns were identified for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in subgroup analyses by age, race, ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Pfizer’s vaccine was approved for those age 12 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been approved for those 18 and older.The vaccines are not recommended for individuals who have experienced a serious reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components. For information on vaccine components, refer to the manufacturers’ package inserts from Pfizer and Moderna.
No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
The adverse events to the J&J vaccine appear to be extremely rare. Six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals occurred after receiving the J&J vaccine. These adverse events appear to be extremely rare. Nearly seven million people in the United States have received Johnson & Johnson shots so far, and only six persons developed this rare disorder. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Patients with other clinical questions should contact their health care provider or call the COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411.