top of page
covid molecule

COVID-19

What is it?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome. CoV means coronavirus, which is a family of viruses. 

Common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, loss of taste or smell, fatigue (tiredness), difficulty breathing, and muscle aches.

What's the difference between them?

Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, while Novavax is a recombinant protein subunit vaccine.

For information about these types of vaccines, click here.

Pfizer and Moderna are recommended for people as young as 6 months old. Novavax is approved for ages 12+.

The schedule depends on the vaccine and whether you have already been vaccinated against COVID-19

Pfizer (Comirnaty):

  • 6 months - 4 years:

    • If not previously vaccinated: Three doses (3 weeks between dose 1 and 2, 8 weeks between dose 2 and 3)​

    • One previous dose: two additional doses (started at least 3 weeks after the original dose and 8 weeks between doses)

    • Two or more previous doses: one additional dose (at least 8 weeks or 2 months after the last dose)

  • Ages 5+:

    • One dose of the updated vaccine

    • If you are immunocompromised, talk to your doctor about receiving additional doses

Moderna (Spikevax):

  • 6 months - 4 years:

    • If not previously vaccinated: Two doses (1 month between doses)​

    • One previous dose: one additional dose (1 month after the original dose)

    • Two previous doses of monovalent vaccine: one additional dose (at least 2 months after the last dose)

  • Ages 5+:

    • One dose of the updated vaccine

    • If you are immunocompromised, talk to your doctor about receiving additional doses

Novavax: 

  • Novavax requires two doses 3 weeks apart

  • Boosters are approved for ages 18+

  • Updated vaccines are not yet available

Jannsen (J&J): This vaccine is no longer available or recommended, but to see the ingredients, click here.

Relevant Terms

  • Genome: all of the genetic information in a cell

  • mRNA: Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is a form of genetic material that acts as a template to make proteins.

  • Recombinant Protein: a protein that is made by putting genetic information into the genome of another species. That species makes the protein, which is isolated and purified. 

  • Viral vector: a version of a virus that has been modified to contain genetic information from another source. 

Anchor 1

Sources

Last updated: Sep. 24, 2023

bottom of page