Facts About Covid Vaccines – HealthyWomen

The world of Covid vaccines has certainly changed since the early days of the pandemic, when people stood in long queues to get vaccinated.

Today, there are several different Covid vaccines to choose from. Two are mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) and one is a protein-based vaccine (Novavax). And if you don’t know what’s available and when you should get it, you’re not alone.

There are currently three Covid vaccines updated for 2023-2024, and which ones you can receive depends on your age and previous vaccination status. Here are the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you decide which vaccines you and your loved ones should consider.

1. Everyone ages 5 and older must receive at least one dose of an updated Covid vaccine to be up to date.

  • Children ages 5 to 11 who are not vaccinated or have received the Covid vaccine before September 12, 2023 should receive an updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Covid vaccine.
  • Anyone 12 years of age or older who is not vaccinated should receive one dose of the updated Pfizer-BioNTech or updated Moderna vaccine or two doses of the updated Novavax vaccine.
  • Anyone 12 years of age or older who received any vaccine before September 12, 2023 should receive one dose of any of the three updated vaccines.

2. Babies and toddlers have different recommendations

Children ages 6 months to 4 years can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. If they have never been vaccinated, they will need two or three doses, depending on the vaccine. If they received a previous vaccine, they will need one or two doses depending on the first vaccine. There is currently no Covid vaccine approved for children under 6 months.

3. You can mix Covid vaccines

Your next injection does not have to be the same brand or type as the last one. That means if you’ve already received an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), you can receive a protein-based vaccine (Novavax) for your next shot and vice versa.

Read: Understanding the different types of Covid-19 vaccines >>

4. Yes, you can receive the Covid, RSV and flu vaccines at the same time.

If you are eligible to receive the Covid, RSV and flu vaccines, it is safe to receive them all. in one go, although each injection is applied individually.

5. You should get vaccinated even if you’ve had Covid before

If you have had a confirmed case of Covid, you should still receive an updated vaccine to help protect against the virus. Investigation shows that people who did not receive an updated vaccine after recovering from Covid were more likely to contract Covid again compared to people who did receive a vaccine after recovering from Covid.

It is not necessary to wait a certain time to receive the vaccine after receiving Covid, but the CDC notes If you prefer, you can wait three months after your infection before getting vaccinated because you may have some immunity during that time from having had the virus. People who have had a confirmed case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) You must wait 90 days after diagnosis to receive the vaccine.

6. Covid mRNA vaccines cannot alter human DNA

There are two types of Covid vaccines: protein-based vaccines and mRNA vaccines. The protein-based vaccine (Novavax) uses a small, harmless portion of the virus to help the immune system recognize and fight it. The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) use messenger RNA, a small particle that teaches cells to make a part of the vaccine, to offer protection against the virus.

No type of vaccine can change your DNA because none can enter the nucleus of a cell, where DNA is stored. Additionally, messenger RNA is not stored in the body. The mRNA vaccine does its job by giving instructions to the immune system and then breaks down and disappears.

Get information about Covid vaccines from trusted sources

When it comes to Covid, there is a lot of information and misinformation out there. You deserve to have your questions and concerns answered by reliable sources you can trust.

If you can, start by talking to a healthcare provider (HCP) about any questions or concerns you may have. And if you are responsible for the care of a loved one and they have questions, listen to them and share resources with them to help them make a decision with you.

You can get reliable information from official health information sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO).

This educational resource was created with the support of Novavax.

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