Here’s Everything We Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines as of June 2021

Photo Courtesy: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Throughout 2020, the world’s leading scientists, virologists and researchers worked tirelessly to engineer safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time. And, in November, all of that work precipitated into some exciting news: Both Pfizer and Moderna released statements outlining the promising news that, in recent trials, their vaccines had demonstrated remarkable success in protecting against COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer's vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization on December 11, 2020, and, just a week later, the authorization was issued for Moderna's vaccine. A third vaccine, created by Janssen, was given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA on February 27 2021. Sometime this year, a fourth vaccine candidate, developed by AstraZeneca, might join them.

In the days immediately following the Pfizer authorization, shots were shipped out across the country and healthcare workers began receiving the first doses of that vaccine. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine formulations require two full doses and, in the end, are remarkably effective, with a 94-95% efficacy rate. The Janssen vaccine requires one dose, has an efficacy rate of 66% against moderate COVID-19 cases, and 85% efficacy against severe COVID-19.

As the vaccine rollout continues, we’re taking a look at the effectiveness of the vaccine distribution and fact-checking some of Americans’ biggest safety concerns when it comes to immunization.

Editor’s Note: As we’ve witnessed since March 2020, information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing — and the latest on the vaccines are no exception. While we aim to keep our articles as up-to-date as possible, please be sure to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website as well for the latest news. Curious about how the COVID-19 vaccines were created? We’ve covered that in How Was the COVID-19 Vaccine Developed?