Currently, there are 13 COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for use. We look at what are the different COVID-19 vaccines and their side effects.
COVID‑19 vaccines is intended to provide acquired immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2).
Covid-19 vaccines allow the body to build immunity by activating T and B lymphocytes, cells that, respectively, recognize the targeted virus and produce antibodies to combat it.
The table below gives an overview of the 13 authorized vaccines, categorized by type, based on how they function. It also shows their efficacy.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna
These COVID-19 vaccines are the first vaccines approved for use in humans that incorporate mRNA technology. As a result, there are concerns about the long-term effects and a risk of altering the body’s genetic information. People may be unaware that researchers have spent many years studying the potential of mRNA vaccine technology. There have been efforts to develop mRNA vaccines in the past, including Moderna’s human-based trial of an mRNA Zika virusTrusted Source vaccine.
Furthermore, it is unlikely that an mRNA vaccine can alter genetic information. The mRNA in a vaccine does not enter the nucleus of a cell, where DNA is stored, and it degrades rather quickly in the body after it serves its purpose.
Oxford-AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Danish Health Authority recently observed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been followed by incidents of blood clots.
Of the 5 million people who received this vaccine, there have been 30 reported cases of blood clots. One case in Denmark was followed by death.
On March 18, 2021, the EMA concluded that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and does not increase the overall risk of blood clots. They pointed out that the incidence rate of blood clots in people who have had the vaccine is lower than that in the general population.
CanSino and Gamaleya
Both the CanSinoTrusted Source and GamaleyaTrusted Source vaccines use the adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) as their delivery vehicle. The peer-reviewed researchTrusted Source into trials of these vaccines found that they caused common side effects, none of which were serious.
Published dataTrusted Source from Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin phase 1 and 2 trials show no serious side effects. Otherwise, there is little information about the risk of adverse effects.
Sinopharm: Beijing and Wuhan
Sinopharm have manufactured two vaccines, developed with the Institute of Biological Products in Beijing and Wuhan, respectively.
The published phase 1 and 2 trial data for the BBIBP-CorVTrusted Source and inactivated Vero cellTrusted Source vaccines show that most of the adverse events were common side effects and that none were serious.
Phase 1 and 2 trial dataTrusted Source for the CoronaVac vaccine indicate no reports of serious adverse events.
Interestingly, the study authors found fewer reports of fever among participants who received this vaccine, compared with those who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, or CanSino vaccines.
Anhui Zhifei Longcom
There is currently no publicly available peer-reviewed data about the safety or efficacy of the dimeric receptor-binding domain, or RBD-dimer, vaccine. One preprint paper states that no serious adverse events were reported during a trial.
EpiVacCorona is Russia’s second approved COVID-19 vaccine, and trials to determine its safety and efficacy are ongoing.
Tatyana Golikova, the country’s deputy prime minister, notes: “Unlike the first Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, which is a vector Covid-19 vaccines, that is, produced based on adenovirus, the new vaccine […] consists of artificially synthesized short fragments of viral proteins, peptides, through which the immune system learns and subsequently recognizes and neutralizes the virus.”
it is normal for a person to experience minor side effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source and the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, common side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine include:
- a fever
- body aches
A person might also experience side effects around the injection site, which is usually the upper arm. These might include swelling, pain, redness, an itchy rash, and other mild forms of irritation. People sometimes refer to this issue as COVID arm