What Community Members Should Know About The Recommended COVID-19 Vaccines


There are currently two vaccines being recommended to prevent COVID-19, called Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Community members throughout the Lehigh Valley will soon have the opportunity to get vaccinated, and so it is important to know what these vaccines are, the potential side effects, and the overall effectiveness.


One option is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the Pfizer vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that requires two shots, 21 days apart, in the muscle of the upper arm. It does not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex. This vaccine is recommended for people aged 16 years and older. The side effects may start 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine. The common side effects include pain, swelling, and redness in the arm, chills, tiredness, and body aches. According to evidence from clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of the previous infection.


The other option is the Moderna vaccine. According to the CDC, the Moderna vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that requires two shots, one month apart, in the muscle of the upper arm. Like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it does not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex. This vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older. Potential side effects include pain, swelling, and redness surrounding the injection site. Other side effects include chills, tiredness, and body aches. According to evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses without evidence of being previously infected.