The Vaccines

Get vaccinated as soon as you can.

Vaccine illustration
by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay.
Johnson and Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies Vaccine (Received EUA 02.27.21)
Who Can Get It

Authorized for use in people age 18 and older

How Many Shots Required

One – no boosters needed

How Well Does It Work?
Most common side effects
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • No reports of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
How Does It Work?

Uses a harmless common-cold-type virus that “has been engineered to carry the SARS-2 spike protein and to introduce the spike to the immune system, prompting it to recognize SARS-2 and protect against it.”

When Will It Be Available for Kids?

They haven’t released any info about the kiddos yet.

What Else Is Important?

In a VERY SMALL percentage of cases it can cause severe blood clots – but again, SUPER unlikely. If you get this vaccine, you’re more than twice as likely to be hit by lightning in given year than you are to get a serious blood clot.

Also in a VERY SMALL percentage of cases (less than 1 in 100,000) it can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Comparison: You’re a thousand times more likely to get long COVID if you get infected than you are to get GB syndrome if you get the J&J shot.

It can be stored for months in normal refrigerators, which makes it easier to use in remote areas.

Vaccine illustration image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay.
Moderna Vaccine (Received EUA 12.18.20)
Who Can Get It

Authorized for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.

How Many Shots Required

Requires two doses, given one month apart.

How Well Does It Work?
Most Common Side Effects

“The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. . . . More people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.”

Chance of severe allergic reaction about 2.5 per 10,000.

How Does It Work?

Made using messenger RNA (mRNA), which serves as “a recipe to make the surface protein (known as spike) on the SARS-2 virus. The proteins made with the mRNA instructions activate the immune system, teaching it to see the spike protein as foreign and develop antibodies and other immunity weapons with which to fight it.”

NB: It does not alter your body’s DNA at all.

When Will It Be Available for Kids?

They’re hoping to have data on kids age 12 – 18 by the time school opens in September. In March they began a study testing the vaccine in children under 12, but that study won’t be complete until sometime in 2022.

What Else Is Important?

Must be shipped and stored at -4 Fahrenheit (requires standard freezer).

Vaccine illustration image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay.
Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine ( Received EUA 12.11.20)
Who Can Get It

Authorized for use in people 12 years of age and older.

How Many Shots Required

Requires two doses, three weeks apart.

How Well Does It Work?
Most Common Side Effects

“The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. . . . More people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.”

Chance of severe allergic reaction: 11.1 per million or about 1 in 90,000. “That’s less than 3 percent of the lifetime risk of dying from choking on food.”

How Does It Work?

Made using messenger RNA (mRNA), which serves as “a recipe to make the surface protein (known as spike) on the SARS-2 virus. The proteins made with the mRNA instructions activate the immune system, teaching it to see the spike protein as foreign and develop antibodies and other immunity weapons with which to fight it.”

NB: It does not alter your body’s DNA, and it won’t make you magnetic, so if you were hoping to impersonate Magneto for Halloween, you’re outta luck.

When Will It Be Available
For Little Kids?

Phase I trials for kids ages 6 months – 11 years started in late March. Pfizer hopes to submit its vaccine for EUA for kids ages 2 – 11 in September 2021.

What Else Is Important?

In a VERY SMALL number of cases it can cause mild, easily treatable myocarditis, especially in teens and young adults. Per NPR: “‘Take a stadium full of 100,000 people between the ages of 16 and 39. . . . Vaccinate all of them, and two might get myocarditis.’ But if you don’t vaccinate any of the 100,000, . . . about 1,300 would eventually get COVID-19.”

It can be kept at normal refrigerator temperatures for a month, but if it needs to be stored longer than that, it has to be kept at -94 Fahrenheit (requires special freezer).


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