The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 11, 2020, for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18, 2020, and for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine on Feb. 27, 2021.
Additional vaccines are still under FDA review. This is a process the federal government uses during an emergency to authorize use of a vaccine, drug or medical device that is not yet licensed or that is licensed for a different purpose. Such treatments must undergo extensive testing and safety evaluation to receive an EUA.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
How they work
Clinical trial data from both Pfizer and Moderna show an estimated 95% and 94.5% effective rate for these initial vaccines, respectively. The vaccine is the best defense against the virus and is an important step toward eradicating community spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA have a thorough and scientific process to evaluate vaccine safety before granting emergency use authorization. The clinical trials do show possible side effects that can include fever and body aches.
- Watch WashU Med and BJC virtual town hall recordings.