Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to encourage your cells to initiate an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. Iowans age 12-17 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses a vector (carrier) to provide our cells DNA instructions on how to create COVID-19 spike proteins that will initiate an immune response. The vector used in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a harmless adenovirus (like the common cold) that has been modified so it won’t be able to replicate or cause illness. Iowans age 18 and older can have the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.