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Get the Facts: COVID-19 Vaccine

Resources for Recipients

Resources for Providers

The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is top priority.

The U.S. has a longstanding vaccine safety system to ensure that all vaccines are as safe as possible.

The FDA’s rigorous scientific and regulatory processes will ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of COVID-19 vaccines. This includes extensive clinical trials and expanded vaccine safety monitoring.

COVID-19 vaccines undergo a strict testing and approval process before they can be administered to Oklahomans.

As of August 23, 2021, the FDA has granted full approval to Pfizer's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States for individuals 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine is still under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals 12-15 years of age, and the FDA and CDC have issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 years.

The Moderna and Janssen (J&J) vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, meaning they are safe, effective and ready for Americans to use.

Two COVID-19 vaccines available to Oklahomans are mRNA vaccines.

mRNA vaccines are a type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein — or even just a piece of a protein — that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.

At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection.  

Articles and Publications

  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR): August 18, 2021
  • Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Nursing Home Residents Before and During Widespread Circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant — National Healthcare Safety Network, March 1–August 1, 2021
    • Summary: Early observational studies among nursing home residents showed mRNA vaccines to be 53% to 92% effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two doses of mRNA vaccines were 74.7% effective against infection among nursing home residents early in the vaccination program (March–May 2021). During June–July 2021, when B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant circulation predominated, effectiveness declined significantly to 53.1%. Multicomponent COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination of nursing home staff members, residents, and visitors, are critical. An additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine might be considered for nursing home and long-term care facility residents to optimize a protective immune response.
  • Sustained Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines Against COVID-19 Associated Hospitalizations Among Adults — United States, March–July 2021
    • Summary: COVID-19 mRNA vaccines provide strong protection against severe COVID-19; however, the duration of protection is uncertain. Among 1,129 patients who received 2 doses of a mRNA vaccine, no decline in vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization was observed over 24 weeks. Vaccine effectiveness was 86% 2–12 weeks after vaccination and 84% at 13–24 weeks. Vaccine effectiveness was sustained among groups at risk for severe COVID-19. mRNA vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19–associated hospitalizations was sustained over 24 weeks; ongoing monitoring is needed as new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerge. To reduce hospitalization, all eligible persons should be offered COVID-19 vaccination.
  • New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Adults, by Vaccination Status — New York, May 3–July 25, 2021
    • Summary: Real-world studies of population-level vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalizations are limited in the United States. During May 3–July 25, 2021, the overall age-adjusted vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization in New York was relatively stable (91.9%–95.3%). The overall age-adjusted vaccine effectiveness against infection for all New York adults declined from 91.7% to 79.8%. These findings support the implementation of multicomponent approach to controlling the pandemic, centered on vaccination, as well as other prevention strategies such as masking and physical distancing.
  • Pneumococcal vaccination among U.S. Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years, 2010-2019
    • The report was published online on August 17, 2021 and describes pneumococcal vaccination among U.S. Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years in 2019 overall and by state. In 2019, 63.2% of Medicare beneficiaries ≥65 years had claims for any pneumococcal vaccination, 46.2% for PPSV23, 49.3% for PCV13, and 32.3% for both PCV13 and PPSV23. Claims for vaccination varied by age, race/ethnicity, presence of immunocompromising conditions, and state of residence. Increases in PCV13 coverage was observed during 2014-19 when routine use of PCV13 and PPSV23 was recommended in adults aged ≥65 years; however, the proportion of beneficiaries who received both vaccines remained lower. Following the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice, all providers should routinely assess adults’ vaccination status at every clinical encounter, strongly recommend appropriate vaccines, either offer needed vaccines or refer their patients to another provider who can administer the needed vaccines, and document vaccinations received by their patients in an immunization information system.  
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