Keeping all of the information about COVID-19 straight in our minds can be quite the challenge. The chart below details the types of vaccines approved by the FDA and what the key differences are.
|Manufacturer||Pfizer, Inc.||ModernaTX, Inc.||Johnson & Johnson|
|Does the vaccine have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ages Authorized||16 and older||18 and older||18 and older|
|Number of doses/shots||2 shots||2 shots||1 shot|
|Time between shots||21 days||28 days||Not applicable|
|Effectiveness||Estimated 95%||Estimated 94%||72% Effective in the U.S. and 66% overall|
|Common Side Effects||Pain on the arm where you got the shot, fever, chills, tiredness, headache, muscle pain||Pain on the arm where you got the shot, fever, chills, tiredness, headache, muscle pain||Pain on the arm where you got the shot, fever, chills, tiredness|
|How does it work?||Uses a genetic material called mRNA (messenger RNA) to make a harmless protein that is unique to the COVID virus that triggers an immune response||Uses a genetic material called mRNA (messenger RNA) to make a harmless protein that is unique to the COVID virus that triggers an immune response||Uses a modified version of a different virus to stimulate the body to produce antibodies to fight off the infection|
Here are some of the most often asked inquiries from Pearson plan participants about the vaccines.
Q. Will there be any out-of-pocket costs if I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
No. Regardless of which health plan you participate in or whether you use in-or out-of-network providers or pharmacies, you will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for any of the approved COVID-19 vaccinations.
Q. Which COVID-19 vaccine should I get?
Each of the three vaccines are equally effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. Infectious disease experts agree that you should take whatever vaccine is available to you as soon as you are eligible to receive it.
Q. Can I get a vaccine at a pharmacy at no cost?
As of the publication of this edition of For Your Benefit, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, Meijer, Costco, Jewel-Osco and Safeway are administering the COVID-19 vaccine by appointment in select stores, based on local eligibility guidelines and supply. The vaccine is available at no cost to you, as it is covered in full by your insurance.
Q. Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with the illness. For more about this question, go to how COVID-19 vaccines work.
Keep in mind that it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 after vaccination). That means it’s possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Q. Will getting the vaccine produce a positive viral test result?
No. Neither the recently authorized vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive.
Q. If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) current recommendation is that you should still get vaccinated even if you had COVID-19 previously. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from the illness. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests that natural immunity to the virus may not last very long.