The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective

How do we know this? Because our experts have dedicated their lives to studying how infectious diseases and vaccines work. While the COVID-19 vaccines are new, the technology they use has been studied and refined for decades.

Two types of vaccines

There are two types of COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by the FDA that rely on mRNA technology: Pfizer, which has full FDA approval; and Moderna, which has emergency use authorization (EUA). Scroll below for more information on how this new technology works and why it's safe. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a technology called viral vector. Read more from our experts about how viral vector vaccines work.

Here's how the mRNA vaccine protects you



SARS-COV-2 is the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It's known as a spike protein. Spikes allow a ribonucleic acid (RNA) strand to enter the body, reproduce and kill healthy cells.


When the virus enters the body

When a virus enters the body, your body's immune system creates antibodies to fight the virus. Since COVID-19 is a novel virus, our body's immune system has not encountered this virus before and isn't prepared to fight.

How the vaccine protects you

The vaccine contains messenger RNA made with the genetic code of spike proteins. When you're injected with the vaccine, this messenger RNA enters your cells and produces a protein to stimulate an immune response, similar to COVID-19.

Now if you encounter the real virus, your body will recognize COVID-19 and is trained to fight it.

Learn more about the science, side effects and developments in the COVID-19 vaccine


What our doctors get asked the most 

We asked primary care providers in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Family and Community Medicine to share what they’re asked most when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Top 5 COVID-19 Questions


How quickly does the COVID-19 vaccine work? 

Here's what we know about how quickly, and how much, protection you'll get in the weeks following your vaccination. Plus, learn why wearing a mask is still recommended no matter how much time has passed since getting the vaccine.

How quickly am I protected?


What to know about mRNA: the science behind the vaccine

An infectious disease specialist breaks down how mRNA vaccine technology works and why scientists and medical experts are confident in its safety.

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Have more questions? We have more answers. Read all COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions.