HOW COVID-19 VACCINES WORK How do the vaccines work?
You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccines. All of the currently authorized vaccines give your body temporary instructions to make a protein. The two-dose vaccines use mRNA technology, while the one-dose vaccine uses DNA technology to provide these instructions. This protein safely teaches your body to make germ-fighting antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. These germ-fighting antibodies are then ready to fight off the real COVID-19 if it ever tries to attack you. Your body naturally breaks down everything in the vaccine. There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine, and none of the vaccines can change your DNA.
Will the vaccines work against new variants of the COVID-19 virus?
All viruses change over time, and these changes (or variants) are expected. Scientists are working to learn more about new COVID-19 variants and their effects on vaccines, although recent studies suggest that the germ-fighting cells created by vaccination are also able to fight against many of the variants. We do know that some of the new variants spread more easily, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Therefore, it is important to keep practicing the 3Ws: washing your hands, waiting six feet apart and wearing a mask around people you don’t live with. More information can be found on the CDC website.
Why are two vaccine shots necessary for some vaccines?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots a set number of days apart. You need two doses to build up strong immunity against COVID-19. The goal of the first vaccine dose is to “prime” the immune response, which means that it gets your body ready to have the best protection. The second dose “boosts” the immune response to be fully protected. The second shot will come about 3-4 weeks after the first. It is important to get two doses of the same vaccine. While other countries may take a different approach to vaccinations, the FDA and CDC continue to recommend that everyone get two shots for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Currently there are not enough data to suggest that one shot of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines offers enough protection against COVID-19. Additional COVID-19 vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
What are the differences between the one-dose and two-dose vaccines?
The two-dose vaccines use mRNA to give your body temporary instructions to make a protein that teaches your body to make germ-fighting antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. Instead of mRNA, the one-dose vaccine (made by Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) uses DNA to give your body the same type of temporary instructions. The DNA is carried into the body on a harmless virus called adenovirus. Your body naturally breaks down everything in the return to the top NC Department of Health and Human Services 10 vaccine. All of the vaccines are very effective in preventing COVID-19 illness as well as preventing hospitalization and death. All of the clinical trials showed no serious safety concerns. Your body naturally breaks down everything in the vaccine. There is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine and none of the vaccines can change your DNA. People who receive the one-dose vaccine do not need to return for a second vaccination. The temporary reactions are similar among all vaccines, although people receiving the one-dose vaccine may only experience temporary reactions once. Temporary reactions may include a sore arm, headache, fever and feeling tired and achy for a day or two after receiving the vaccine. Younger people are more likely to have reactions than older people. None of the vaccines can give you COVID-19. Additionally, the one-dose vaccine also can be stored in a regular refrigerator for up to three months.