All the differences between COVID-19 vaccines, summarized in a simple table

A group of teenagers serving as 'Covid-19 Student Ambassadors' joined Governor Gretchen Whitmer to receive a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to go and get their vaccines on April 6, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.
A teenager serving as a ‘Covid-19 Student Ambassadors’ gets a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Ford Field during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to go and get their vaccines on April 6, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images
  • COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca all have unique features.
  • They vary in effectiveness, side effects, dosage, and ages approved for the shots.
  • Here is a table that compares them all. Scroll down to view it.
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Coronavirus vaccines are the world’s escape route out of a pandemic.

Vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford University, and Johnson & Johnson have been approved in the UK. In the US, all of them have been authorized except AstraZeneca’s.

Each is given as a shot in the muscle of the upper arm.

For the two-dose vaccines – which is all of them except J&J – you should have two shots of the same one, where possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday October 22 that everyone in the US who gets J&J’s single-dose vaccine should get a second at least two months after the first.

Some fully vaccinated people vulnerable to COVID-19 are eligible for a third vaccine dose, known as a booster. In the US, this can be any vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Speak with your doctor if you have a specific medical condition, or take medicines – especially if they thin your blood or affect your immune system. Experts have said the COVID-19 vaccines won’t make you infertile. Side effects may start within a day or two and should go away within a few days.

We’ve made a table that gives you the key information for each shot. Scroll down to view it.