What You Need to Know About the COVID Vaccines


(PHOTO FROM mprnews.org)

Olivia Simpson, Writer


On Thursday, December 11th, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine. Now people throughout the country are receiving their first doses of the vaccine. Below are questions and answers about the COVID vaccine. 

What is the vaccine? The vaccine is a small piece of modified viral RNA that is covered in a fatty layer that gets injected into your muscle. When the RNA leaves the fatty coating, your body recognizes it as an intruder and makes antibodies against it. 

How effective is it? Both vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have an efficacy of about 95% 

Procedure? It has been purchased by the government and will be distributed to the states, each state will decide how they distribute. The first wave of vaccines will go to residents/employees of long term care and health care facilities. A person must take two doses of it. 

What is special about it? 

  • It is one of the first vaccines of its kind (using RNA). 
  • It is very fragile and it degrades easily, so it has to be stored at low temperatures. 
  • It has been studied with substantially more people than past (around 100,000 people). 

Side effects? They are very similar to a flu shot (soreness in the arm, headache fatigue, possible fever). They are pronounced more in people that are younger and after the second vaccine. 


Information is from Dr. Emily Simpson, an Infectious Disease Physician. 

For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html