COVID-19 Vaccine Types: What You Need to Know

This blog was posted on March 24, 2021. Please refer to the CDC for the most up-to-date vaccine information. 

You might be confused about the three different COVID-19 vaccine types that are currently available. Between their differences and the various rumors about their safety, it’s natural to feel apprehensive. The team at MD Now is here to explain the COVID-19 vaccine differences and set your mind at ease.

COVID-19 Vaccine Types: The 3 Options


How Does It Work?

This is one of the “mRNA” vaccines you may have heard about. Since this is a new type of vaccine, there are many rumors about its safety. Most of what you’ve heard is likely untrue. Learning about the COVID-19 vaccine differences can ease your mind. For example, the mRNA vaccines work by training the cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response. This immune response creates antibodies that reduce the severity of COVID-19 if the person becomes infected.

What Does It Require?

The mRNA Pfizer vaccine requires two shots, which are given approximately 21 days apart.

How Effective Is It?

Research shows that the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness of the Pfizer shot is 95 percent. It can prevent COVID-19 illness in people who were not previously infected.


How Does It Work?

The Moderna vaccine is another mRNA vaccine that works like the Pfizer shot.

What Does It Require?

Like the Pfizer shot, the Moderna version requires two doses. For this shot, the doses are 28 days apart rather than 21 days.

How Effective Is It?

Clinical trials show that the Moderna vaccine is 94.1 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 illness. This statistic is based on people who received both doses of the vaccine and who had no history of infection.

Johnson & Johnson

How Does It Work?

This is the most recent of the shot options, and it functions differently than the other two COVID-19 vaccine types. This shot uses a modified version of a different virus to make the cells produce a segment of the COVID-19 virus. This segment triggers the immune system to fight against what it believes is a COVID-19 infection. This effectively teaches the body to guard against the actual virus if it’s encountered.

What Does It Require?

This vaccine option only requires one dose.

How Effective Is It?

The COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson shot is 66.3 percent. This was documented in people who had no evidence of prior infection two weeks after receiving the shot. While the J&J vaccine doesn’t completely prevent infection, it does prevent hospitalization and death. This shows the COVID-19 vaccine importance of this particular shot, which can help to prevent hospital overload.

COVID-19 Vaccine Importance

The sooner most of the population gets vaccinated, the sooner things can start to go back to normal. Protect yourself and your family while doing your part for your community by getting your vaccine as soon as you can.


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