Currently, there are four COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
Pfizer and Moderna have been shown to be safe and effective. And, for the most part, J&J has been safe. However, there have been rare – but still present – links between the J&J vaccine and blood clots.
– The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for keiki 6 months to 15-years-old and is fully approved by the FDA for ages 16 and up. It is an mRNA vaccine and the primary series includes two shots spaced three to eight weeks apart.
– The Moderna vaccine is authorized for keiki 6 months to 17-years-old and is fully approved by the FDA for people 18 years and over. It is an mRNA vaccine and the primary series includes two shots spaced three to eight weeks apart.
– The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for limited use only – for people 18 years and over who cannot or will not receive any other type of COVID vaccination. The FDA has allowed the J&J vaccine’s limited use because the risks of COVID are so much greater than those of the syndrome that causes blood clots. If you are considering a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please check with your doctor to make sure that’s the best choice for you.
– The Novavax vaccine has FDA Emergency Use Authorization for individuals 12 years and older. It is a protein subunit vaccine that includes two shots spaced three to eight weeks apart.
Having multiple types of vaccines available is crucial so that vaccination programs can quickly reach as many people as possible.