Overview of COVID-19 vaccines
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Up-to-date Information

Up-to-Date Info: To find the latest CDC information on this topic go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Overview of COVID-19 vaccines

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    Updated Aug. 24, 2022

    What You Need to Know

    • Different COVID-19 vaccines, which include boosters, are available in the United States. COVID-19 vaccines are approved for people of different ages, and on different schedules.

    • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have specific recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

    • Severe allergic reactions after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are rare. If you are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG), you should not get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. If you are allergic to polysorbate, you should not get Novavax or J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your options.

    There are four approved or authorized vaccines in the United States used to prevent COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. You can also get the Novavax COVID-19 protein subunit vaccine. Otherwise, you may get Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 viral vector vaccine in some situations.

    These vaccines are given as a shot in the muscle of the upper arm or in the thigh. None of them affect or interact with our DNA in any way. COVID-19 vaccine ingredients are considered safe for most people. Nearly all of the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are ingredients found in many foods—fats, sugar, and salts. They all have:

    • No preservatives like thimerosal or mercury or any other preservatives.

    • No antibiotics like sulfonamide or any other antibiotics.

    • No medicines or therapeutics like ivermectin or any other medications.

    • No tissues like aborted fetal cells, gelatin, or any materials from any animal.

    • No food proteins like eggs or egg products, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, nut products, or any nut byproducts (COVID-19 vaccines are not manufactured in facilities that produce food products).

    • No metals like iron, nickel, cobalt, titanium, rare earth alloys, or any manufactured products like microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes or other nanostructures, or nanowire semiconductors.

    • No latex. The vial stoppers used to hold the vaccine also do not contain latex.

    After the body produces an immune response, it discards all of the vaccine ingredients, just as it would discard any substance that cells no longer need. This process is a part of normal body functioning.

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