Find a vaccine near you:

There are 3 coronavirus vaccine products in the U.S.:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (mRNA, 2 shots, 21 days apart)
  • Moderna (mRNA, 2 shots, 28 days apart)
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (plasmid/vector, 1 shot)

See the vaccine comparison:

See the CDC overview & safety sheets:

See the manufacturers’ fact sheets:

Age requirements:

Anyone 12+ can take Pfizer/BioNTech, while anyone 18+ can take Moderna or J&J. Research on vaccines for younger kids (5–11 years) is ongoing.


All vaccines are free, paid for by the federal government.


  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Approved for EUA by the FDA on December 11, 2020.*
  • Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. Approved for EUA by the FDA on December 18, 2020.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Approved for EUA by the FDA on February 27, 2021.

*Pfizer’s vaccine received full approval on 8/23/2021 for use in people 16 years old or older to prevent coronavirus disease. The FDA also allowed the companies, Pfizer and BioNTech, to use the brand name COMIRNATY® to refer to the product (pronounced Koe-mir’-na-tee).

It continues to be used under Emergency Use Authorization for people 12–15 years old and for people receiving a third shot of it (booster).

From CDC Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised People

  • People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised.
  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • This additional dose is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series


All 3 vaccines are very safe and effective. The federal government upholds high standards for safety and continuously monitors the vaccines to ensure their continued safety.

Adverse Events

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a database that keeps track of cases of negative health outcomes following vaccination. You can self-report a negative health outcome or view the data. It is checked daily by FDA physicians and CDC officials to ensure the vaccines continue to be safe.


A common worry people may have, perhaps unique to Covid vaccines, is fear of reproductive harm or reduced fertility post-vaccination.

According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky (head of the CDC), thousands of women who took the vaccine either during or before pregnancy gave birth to a normal baby and there is most likely no harm to female fertility. Vaccines in pregnant woman continue to be looked at, and so far no harmful effects have been found.

There are fewer studies on male fertility. One study from the University of Miami noted a slight decrease in sperm count shortly after healthy men took the J&J vaccine, but this was thought to be temporary as sperm count was expected to return to normal levels after several months. According to the FDA, the vaccine has no negative effects on male fertility. Researchers emphasized that actual infection/illness can lower sperm parameters, and urged men to take whichever vaccine is offered. As for mRNA vaccines for men, a study published in JAMA did not find any adverse effects on sperm count following vaccination.

TIP: Now that Covid-19 vaccines are in abundant supply, you might have a choice as to which vaccine you want to take if you have a preference. (Sometimes you can call a pharmacy or grocery store to see which vaccine they are dispensing.)

updated 9-13-21

© Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved. ScoreMatrix • Designed by Nash