COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool that can help us end the pandemic and return to doing the thing we miss like gathering with loved ones, seeing live concerts, traveling, and going out to dinner.
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Why we need a vaccine
- Approved vaccines protect people by lowering their chances of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.
- If enough Nevadans get vaccinated, we can keep our businesses, restaurants, casinos, and schools open and return to doing the things we miss and move toward normalcy.
- Widespread vaccination will end this pandemic, the way it ended smallpox, polio, and measles.
How we know the vaccines are safe
- Independent groups — not part of the government or a pharmaceutical company — assess clinical trial data and make recommendations on approval to the FDA and CDC.
- Tens of thousands of people of different ages, races, and ethnicities participated in clinical trials across the country.
- Speed did not compromise the safety or the scientific integrity of vaccine development.
- Vaccines were manufactured during clinical trials with the intention of throwing them away if they were not deemed safe and effective. Ineffective vaccines have been discarded during this process.
How the vaccines work
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are made using messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA vaccines deliver instructions to the cell to build a protein that resembles a viral protein (one from the coronavirus) in order to generate an immune response.
- mRNA does not alter or modify your DNA.
- You cannot get COVID-19 from mRNA vaccines.
- The Janssen vaccine uses an adenovirus vector vaccine — a more established approach to creating immunity through vaccination.
- Adenovirus vector vaccines employ a harmless, inactive virus to deliver a gene that carries the blueprint for the spike protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. The virus enters cells, which then follow the genetic instructions to construct a replica of the coronavirus spike protein. The immune system uses these replicas to recognize — and respond to — the real coronavirus.
Vaccine Approval Process
March 2021 Update:
As of March 2, 2021, 76.9 million doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the US. Approximately 7.76% of the population is fully vaccinated.
On February 27, the FDA approved the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use by the FDA. It joins the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines being distributed throughout the US.
- The Janssen vaccine requires just one shot and is fridge stable, which means it can be shipped and stored at standard refrigerator temperatures.
- The Janssen vaccine did not cause any serious side effects during clinical trials, with the most commonly reported side effects being pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.
- All three approved vaccines provided complete protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 in their clinical trials and are considered extremely effective tools for ending the pandemic.
This website content is supported by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health by Grant Number 6 NU50CK000560-02-04 from the CDC. It's contents are solely the responsibility of Immunize Nevada and do not necessarily represent the official views of DPBH or the CDC.