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COVID-19 Vaccines: A Summary

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, chances are you must have heard about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines. The Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available in the United States. As peak vaccination season is approaching, let's make sure that you are informed and ready!



What Are Vaccines?


A vaccine is defined as a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease. A vaccine creates antibodies (proteins that protect against a disease) to prevent an occurrence of a disease and it does so by using a dead or weakened version of the disease to help your body build immunity towards it. That way, if you were ever exposed to the disease, your body would remember it and produce antibodies to fight against the disease.


The COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer) uses mRNA to create proteins that can activate the immune system to create antibodies to fight against the virus whenever it sees the spike protein shape of the COVID-19 virus. However, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works by using human cells to create a COVID-19 spike protein to activate an immune response.



Comparing the 3 Different Vaccines


Moderna vaccine:

- 94% effective at preventing COVID-19

- Requires 2 doses

- Can be used by people that are 18+

- Doesn’t contain eggs, preservatives, or latex

****Note: Be sure to check if you have any allergies to any of the ingredients in a COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer vaccine:

- 95% effective at preventing COVID-19

- Requires 2 doses

- Can be used by people that are 16+

- Doesn’t contain eggs, preservatives, or latex

****Note: Be sure to check if you have any allergies to any of the ingredients in a COVID-19 Vaccine


Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

- 66% effective at preventing mild to moderate COVID-19 cases and 85% effective at preventing severe COVID-19 cases

- Requires one dose

- Can be used by people that are 18+

- Doesn’t contain eggs, preservatives, or latex

****Note: Be sure to check if you have any allergies to any of the ingredients in a COVID-19 vaccine

*****Side effects may occur



New York State Vaccination Update


Finally, vaccines are eligible to be taken by people who are 16+ in NY state (Note: Pfizer is the only vaccine currently offered for ages 16-17) and COVID-19 vaccines for children (under 16) are expected to be available in January 2022 (US). As a reminder, prevention is better than a cure!


Thank you to Shreya Devaram, sophomore at Guilderland High School for contributing this important article to our blog! If you are a high school interested in being featured on our blog, submit 300-400 words on a STEM current event of you choice in the Contact Us section of our website.


Until next time, keep on that STEM journey.

#change #stem #highschool #currentevents

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