What We Know About the Covid-19 Vaccines

Gigi Hanner

In the United States, we have two Covid-19 vaccines available to us. It is likely most of us will receive the vaccine eventually, but what exactly are these vaccines, and maybe more importantly: who makes them?  Then, there’s the most common question of all: How effective are they? There is a lot of information that goes into something as serious as this, especially when the two vaccinations were hastily approved by the FDA. There are also plenty of questions being asked, and a sense of hesitation among many people. So here is a list of things we know about each vaccine, both good and bad.


This vaccine uses mRNA, and requires 2 shots 28 days apart. It doesn’t contain eggs, latex, or preservatives for those who have allergies. It is being recommended for people ages 18 and older. There are a few side effects, including pain, swelling, and redness around the injection site, and chills, headaches, and tiredness can occur throughout your whole body. For the most part, side effects have been mild to moderate and occur more commonly after the second dose. Clinical trials show that the vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing Covid-19 in a diverse group of people. 22.3% of people involved in the trial had at least one prior medical condition, including lung disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and HIV. 


This vaccine uses mRNA, and requires 2 shots 21 days apart. It does not contain eggs, latex or preservatives, similar to Moderna. This vaccine can be given to those 16 and older. The possible side effects are the same as Moderna, and they occurred at about the same rate. It is 95% effective against Covid-19, but the clinical trial participants were less racially diverse than that of Moderna. There were a few underlying medical conditions present, including obesity (35%), diabetes (8.4%), and pulmonary disease (7%). 

Here in Indiana, vaccine rollout is being done by age. On January 8th, residents 80 and older could register. On January 13, eligibility expanded to those 70 and older. As of January 11th, only 2.8% of Indiana residents have received their first dose. In order to speed up distribution, Walmarts with a pharmacy have begun vaccinating people in Arkansas and New Mexico, but not yet in Indiana. In addition to expediting the distribution process, Walgreens is also helping this to assist President Biden in his goal of administering 150 million doses in his first 100 days as president.It is estimated that children and young adults can begin getting vaccinated in late spring and early summer.