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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Please read the following information to learn about the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Equipment

Ultra-Low Freezer Storage

About the Vaccine

Learn about the different types of COVID vaccines, and common misconceptions about them.

Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

How do mRNA vaccines work?

COVID mRNA Vaccines vs. Traditional Vaccines:

Safety: Normal vaccines use either weakened or inactivated viral pathogens, which have a very low chance of causing disease, but are still potentially infectious. mRNA vaccines are not made with either, and do not last in our body’s genes to be passed on through cell replication. Rather, it’s degraded by natural processes after making the antigen. In terms of adverse effects, mRNA vaccine sequences are designed to mimic those produced by mammalian cells to minimize the risk of immune reactions.

Effectiveness: Clinical trial results indicate that mRNA vaccines generate a strong immune response (Both Pfizer and Moderna’s leading COVID-19 vaccines have > 90% effectiveness) and are well-tolerated by most individuals. While Pfizer has not released official safety information, no serious side effects have appeared to date, and most adverse effects to vaccines occur within the first few weeks of vaccination.

Production Efficiency: mRNA vaccines have the advantage of being able to be produced in laboratories using DNA templates and standard vaccine materials. This makes it easier to make rather than having to use chicken eggs or mammalian cells, which takes months to grow, harvest, and purify. This is why mRNA vaccines can be produced several months faster than normal, and cost less than traditional vaccines!

Stability and Route of Administration: Because free mRNA is degraded quickly in our body, the mRNA strand is packaged into a larger particle to help stabilize it after injection. It also has particular storage requirements, which differs dependent on the vaccine:

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will need to be stored at -94 °F, and will degrade in around 5 days at normal refrigerator temperatures. However Pfizer is developing shipping containers using dry ice to keep the vaccine stable during shipping, and healthcare facilities will use ultra-low freezers to store the vaccine before administration.

The Moderna vaccine can be maintained at regular freezer temperatures for up to 6 months, and up to 30 days after thawing in standard refrigerated conditions (36 to 46 °F).

Side effects: Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported vaccine side effects that are similar to mild covid-19 or common flu symptoms, such as muscle pain, chills and headache (this is common to the Shingles vaccine as well, though muscle pain/vaccine site irritation is possible with all vaccines). Patients in both trials for the vaccines reported that they experienced high fever, body aches, headaches, daylong exhaustion and other symptoms after receiving the shots but that they resolved within a day.

If you have additional questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine, feel free to call Tarrytown Pharmacy and discuss with a pharmacist.

Phone: (512)-478-6419