mRNA is a molecule that tells our bodies to make proteins. mRNA from the COVID-19 virus tells our cells to make harmless proteins just like those on the virus. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work this way.
Protein subunit vaccines, such as the Novavax vaccine, contain harmless pieces of proteins unique to the COVID-19 virus.
Vector vaccines, like the AstraZeneca vaccine, use another virus that has been made safe. Material from the COVID-19 virus has been inserted inside of it. The material tells our cells to make harmless proteins unique to the COVID-19 virus.
The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are given as two shots in the upper arm muscle, three or four weeks apart.*
Typically, it takes about two weeks after the second shot for sufficient immunity to kick in.
Even after the vaccination, you might be able to pick up the virus, carry it and give it to others so infection prevention measures are still very important.
The truth: You will not get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
The truth: The vaccine will not change or damage your genetic information.
The truth: Even if you are vaccinated, you should still wear your mask, frequently wash your hands and maintain physical distance to help keep everyone safe.