The coronavirus vaccine is currently making its way across the United States as millions of people wait anxiously to receive their vaccine. So far, about 13% of Ohioans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 6% are fully vaccinated. Nationally, over 44 million people have been administered at least the first dose of the vaccine.

What’s the difference between Moderna and Pfizer? How does the COVID vaccine work? What is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? COVID vaccines can be scary, especially because of the limited time they’ve been available to the public. Let’s see how each of the COVID vaccines compare:

What’s the difference between Moderna and Pfizer?

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective while the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective— both very successful. Both vaccines have gone through extensive testing, however neither have been tested on children or people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking anti-clotting medications or immune-suppressing medications, according to UPMC.

Neither vaccine can be given to children under 16 years of age.

Some side effects for both vaccines can be:


Muscle pain



Joint pain


Injection site pain


There are a lot of similarities between the two vaccines, but there are still some key differences when it comes to administering them. For example, the Moderna vaccine can only be given to adults 18 and older, while Pfizer is available to people 16 and older.

Although each vaccine requires two doses, the wait time between each dosage is also different. Pfizer patients can get their second dose after 21 days, while Moderna patients have to wait an extra week, making it a 28-day gap between doses.

Shipping and storing vaccines can be difficult for carriers and medical professionals. Pfizer vaccines require a temperature of -94 degrees, which is typically colder than a freezer at most medical offices or pharmacies. Moderna also requires temperature control, but less extreme requirements call for -4 degrees for shipping and storage. A Pfizer vaccine has a shorter life span than Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine can last for five days in a normal refrigerator, but the Moderna vaccine can last for 30 days.

How does the COVID vaccine work?

COVID vaccinesBoth the Moderna and Pfizer are mRNA vaccines, which means they contain genetic instructions to create a spike protein in the body. This spike protein is made to copy the protein located outside of the coronavirus. So, once the body recognizes the spike protein, it is automatically known as an intruder and can be attacked by antibodies. (This is why some people get sick after their vaccine!)

Don’t worry, your DNA is not affected in any way by the vaccine. Instead, your immune system is just now trained to attack a coronavirus inside the body.

What is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The J&J vaccine was authorized by the FDA on Feb. 27, making it the third vaccine to roll-out to the United States. Beginning Feb. 28, almost 4 million doses began being distributed across all channels, according to a senior administration official at J&J.

J&J has a different, and more convenient, administration process requiring just one dose of the vaccine. This vaccine also does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored in regular refrigerator temperatures. However, the J&J vaccine has proven to be a little less effective. When tested against moderate to severe COVID injections, the vaccine was 66% protective. The vaccine also proved to be 85% protective against severe disease, still making it a viable option for those looking for extra protection against COVID and other illnesses.

If you need more information regarding COVID testing or vaccinations, please visit or call 330-270-3660.