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The original item was published from 12/22/2020 8:24:07 AM to 4/1/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: December 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - December 22, 2020

For Immediate Release


Phone: 980-432-1800

Rowan County Case Information:

Important information about Vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines

As Rowan County continues to develop our vaccine distribution plan, we would like to continue to share information regarding the development of safe and effective vaccines.

Why are vaccines important?

It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs.

  • Over the years, vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives. Diseases that used to be common in this country and around the world, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can now be prevented by vaccination.
  • Getting a vaccine also benefits your loved ones and people in your community by creating "herd immunity." If enough people are vaccinated, the disease cannot spread as quickly.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires all the tools we have available.

Vaccines and Immunizations | CDC

What is the COVID-19 vaccine and what does it do?

The COVID-19 vaccine is a set of two shots provided to a person to give them protection from the coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as soreness where you received the injection or fatigue. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work | CDC

How do mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) work?

  • mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a harmless piece of the "spike protein" for SARS-CoV-2.
    • After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions (the mRNA) and gets rid of them.
  • Cells display this piece of spike protein on their surface, and an immune response is triggered inside our bodies. This produces antibodies to protect us from getting infected if the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters our bodies.
  • mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. They CANNOT give someone COVID-19.
  • mRNA vaccines DO NOT affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Toolkit | CDC  

Do I need multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?

For now, yes. The three leading vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. All require a second dose 21-28 days after the first shot.

  • Pfizer: 21 days
  • Moderna: 28 days
  • AstraZeneca: 28 days

ACIP COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC

What are the different types of COVID-19 vaccines?

­Multiple vaccines to protect people from COVID-19 are in specific phases of development or approval.  The chart below summarizes key facts for three companies that are developing the vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.





Vaccine Mechanism of Action (TYPE)

mRNA mechanism

mRNA mechanism

Vector mechanism


95% effective

94.5% effective

70% effective **

# Participants

43,000 in phase-3 trial

30,000 in phase-3 trial


Level of Diversity

42% diverse backgrounds

37% diverse backgrounds

Unknown at this time

Storage Temperature and
Shelf Life

Ultra-cold storage (-75 degrees Celsius, -103 degrees Fahrenheit).
Lasts up to 5 days in refrigeration.

Storage temperature at -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F).
Lasts up to 30 days in refrigeration.

Regular refrigeration (36-46 degrees F).
Lasts up to 6 months in refrigeration.

Dosing Schedule

2-dose schedule:
21 days apart

2-dose schedule:
28 days apart

2-dose schedule:
28 days apart

1. COVID Vaccine | NC DHHS
2. Moderna Provides Updates on the Clinical Development and Production of Its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate | Moderna, Inc.
3. Pfizer and BioNTech Conclude Phase 3 Study of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate, Meeting All Primary Efficacy Endpoints | Pfizer
4. AZD1222 vaccine met primary efficacy endpoint in preventing COVID-19 | Astrazeneca

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Some people may have temporary reactions after being vaccinated, such as some pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness or feeling off for a day or two. These mRNA vaccines are expected to produce side effects after vaccination, especially after the 2nd dose.

Side effects may include: 

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches

No significant safety concerns were identified in the clinical trials. At least 8 weeks of safety data were gathered in the trials.  It is unusual for side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination.

1. COVID-19 Vaccines | NC DHHS
2. Pfizer Vaccination EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients
3. What Clinicians Should Know | CDC


Amy Smith

Download Media Release COVID-19 - December 22, 2020 (PDF)

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