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What you need to know about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Emergency Use Authorization?

According to the FDA, "During a public health emergency, the FDA can use its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority to allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products, to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases when certain criteria are met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives."

Getting Your Vaccine

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How can I get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?

The U.S. Government will oversee the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine distribution and coordination. State, local, and tribal authorities will be responsible for the allocation of doses to populations in their jurisdictions.

For more information on your state/territory, go to ‘How Do I Get a Vaccine?’ on COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC and select your state/territory.

Who will receive the vaccine first?

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has prioritized healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities for Phase 1a of COVID-19 vaccination. Phase 1b includes non-healthcare essential workers. Phase 1c includes individuals 65 years of age and older and individuals with certain high-risk medical conditions. Please visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr to view the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and ACIP recommendations.

What should you mention to your vaccination provider before you get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?

Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
  • have any allergies
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

How many doses will be available?

The vaccine supply may be limited as manufacturing increases to meet demand.

What is the cost of the vaccine?

The federal government has contracted with McKesson for purposes of vaccine distribution, such that no American will be charged for either the COVID-19 vaccine or its distribution.

Getting Ready for Your Second Dose

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When do I receive my second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series is 2 doses given 3 weeks apart.

If you receive one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of this same vaccine 3 weeks later to complete the vaccination series.

When you get your first dose, you should receive a vaccination card that indicates when to return for your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Remember to bring your card when you return.

What if the second dose cannot be provided at 3 weeks (21 days)?

Per the Full EUA Prescribing Information, the second dose of the vaccine should be given 3 weeks after the first dose. For more information, contact your vaccination provider or the location where you received your first dose.

Are COVID-19 vaccines interchangeable?

There are no data available on the interchangeability of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with other COVID-19 vaccines to complete the vaccination series. Individuals who have received one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine should receive a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to complete the vaccination series.

I don’t know which company’s vaccine I received; what should I do?

You should have received a vaccination card that indicates which vaccine you were administered; this card also indicates when you should return for an additional dose, if applicable.

If you did not receive or no longer have your vaccination card, please contact your vaccination provider or the location site that you visited for assistance.

Knowing More About the Vaccine

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Can your vaccine cause people to develop COVID-19?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine does not contain the virus and cannot give you COVID-19.

What are the risks of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?

There is a remote chance that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction.
  • A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination
  • Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of your face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over your body, dizziness, and weakness

Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include:

  • severe allergic reactions; non-severe allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face; injection site pain; tiredness; headache; muscle pain; chills; joint pain; fever; injection site swelling; injection site redness; nausea; feeling unwell; swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy); diarrhea; vomiting; arm pain

These may not be all the possible side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials.

What should I do about side effects?

If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9‑1‑1, or go to the nearest hospital.

Call the vaccination provider or your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

Report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form.

In addition, you can report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at the contact information provided below.

Website: www.pfizersafetyreporting.com
Fax number: 1-866-635-8337
Telephone number: 1-800-438-1985

Who should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?

You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:
  • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine 
  • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine

What are the ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine?

The ingredients are mRNA, lipids ((4- hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

Is there preservative in the vaccine?

No, the vaccine does not contain preservative.

Are the components of the vaccine vial made with latex?

The vial stoppers are not made with natural rubber latex.

Where is the vaccine being manufactured?

Multiple Pfizer Manufacturing Locations (Kalamazoo, MI & Puurs, Belgium).

Who/What is BioNTech?

BioNTech is a global immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and infectious diseases.

How did Pfizer ensure diversity in conducting the vaccine clinical trial?

We are committed to ensuring that underrepresented populations participate in all our studies by sharing with our investigative sites the importance of recruiting people who fully represent the racial and ethnic diversity of their communities. Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of US participants in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine study have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Data as of 3/16/2021

Where can I learn more?

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination, please visit the CDC or the FDA website.

  • Indication and Important Safety Information

    FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect everyone.

    You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:

    • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
    • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine

    Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

    • have any allergies
    • have a fever
    • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
    • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
    • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
    • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

    Side Effects:

    • There is a remote chance that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction.
      • A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination
      • Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of your face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over your body, dizziness, and weakness
      • If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital
    • Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include:
      • severe allergic reactions; non-severe allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face; injection site pain; tiredness; headache; muscle pain; chills; joint pain; fever; injection site swelling; injection site redness; nausea; feeling unwell; swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy); diarrhea; vomiting; arm pain
    • These may not be all the possible side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials. Call the vaccination provider or your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away

    There is no information on the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with other vaccines.

    Report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form. In addition, you can report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at www.pfizersafetyreporting.com or by calling 1-800-438-1985.

    For the most recent Fact Sheet, please see www.cvdvaccine-us.com/recipients.



For more information

General Product Inquiries
Call 1-877-829-2619.

Medical Information
Visit PfizerMedicalInformation.com
or call 1-800-438-1985.