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Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Generic name: COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019) vaccine, Moderna (KOE vid (koe ROE na vye rus) VAX een)
Brand names: Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine PF, Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine
Dosage form: intramuscular suspension (100 mcg/0.5 mL)
Drug class: Viral vaccines

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 21, 2022.

What is the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine?

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may help your body develop immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines have Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the FDA to be used in specific groups to help prevent severe disease and death from COVID-19. There are two different Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the original Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent.

Original Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (monovalent)

The original Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is monovalent and contains one messenger RNA (mRNA) component of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.

The original Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (monovalent) contains the same vaccine as Spikevax. The EUA approved original vaccine has the name Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and when it is used as a FDA approved medicine it has the brand name Spikevax.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent contains two messenger RNA (mRNA) components of SARS-CoV-2 virus, one of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the other one in common between the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. Sometimes the bivalent vaccine is also called Moderna bivalent Original/Omicron vaccine or an “updated booster”

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines do not contain coronavirus and cannot give you COVID-19.  Like any vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may not provide protection in every person. This vaccine will not treat an active COVID-19 infection.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a serious disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2). COVID-19 is spread from person to person through the air.

COVID-19 can affect your lungs or other organs. Symptoms may be mild or serious and include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, tiredness, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, runny or stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Warnings

Becoming infected with COVID-19 is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.

If you have a certain type of reaction after the first dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, your healthcare provider will determine if you can safely receive the second dose.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine if you've ever had a severe allergic reaction to a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Your healthcare provider will determine whether any reaction you have would prevent you from safely getting the second dose.

If you are infected with COVID-19, are waiting for testing results, or are exposed to someone infected with COVID-19: You may not be able to receive Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine until you have no symptoms and/or your required quarantine period has ended. Receiving Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine will not make you less contagious to other people if you are infected with COVID-19 but you have no symptoms.

Ask your doctor if you are unsure about any COVID-19 treatments you received.

To make sure Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is safe for you, tell your doctor if:

  • you have a fever;

  • you have any allergies;

  • you have had inflammation in or around your heart (myocarditis or pericarditis);

  • you have bleeding problems, or if you use a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • you have a weak immune system caused by disease or by using certain medicine;

  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding;

  • you've received any other COVID-19 vaccine; or

  • you have fainted after receiving an injection.

COVID-19 is more likely to cause serious illness or death in a pregnant woman. Not all risks are known yet, but Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is likely to be less harmful than becoming infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on the baby.

How is Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine given?

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines can be given as an injection (shot) given into a muscle, in a primary series of 2 or 3 shots depending on age and whether you are immunocompromised.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (monovalent) has emergency use authorization to prevent COVID-19 as a: 

  • Two-dose primary series for individuals 6 months of age and older. 
  • Third primary series dose for individuals 6 months of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent has emergency use authorization for use in individuals 18 years of age and older as a single booster dose when given at least 2 months after either: 

  • Completion of primary vaccination with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine, or 
  • Receipt of the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine. 

Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine (monovalent) is:

  • FDA approved for use as a two-dose primary series for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine is has emergency use authorisation for:
    • A two-dose primary series to individuals 12 years through 17 years of age.
    • A third primary series dose to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Be sure to receive all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine or you may not be fully protected. Contact your vaccination provider or health department if you miss your second dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine?

Avoid receiving other vaccines without first seeking medical advice.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine: hives, rash, dizziness, weakness, fast heartbeats; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Your vaccination provider may want to watch you for a short time after your shot, to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. You will be treated quickly if you have a reaction right after you receive the vaccine.

You should not receive this vaccine again if the first shot caused a severe allergic reaction. Your doctor or vaccination provider will determine if you can safely receive another COVID-19 vaccine.

Becoming infected with COVID-19 is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.

Some people receiving Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine had inflammation of the heart muscle or the lining around the heart within a few days after receiving this vaccine, but the risk of this side effect is very low. Seek medical attention right away if you have:

  • chest pain;

  • shortness of breath; or

  • fast or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest.

Not all possible side effects are known.

Common Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine side effects may include:

  • fever, chills;

  • redness or a hardness and swelling where the shot was given;

  • swelling or tenderness under your arm;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • feeling tired; or

  • headache, muscle pain, joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

You may also use a smartphone-based program called V-safe to communicate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about any health problems you have after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

What other drugs will affect Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine?

Before receiving Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, tell your vaccination provider about all other vaccines you have received and all medicines you use. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

More about Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (sars-cov-2 (covid-19) mrna-1273 vaccine)

Patient resources

Other brands

Spikevax

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Further information

  • Your vaccination provider, pharmacist, or doctor can provide more information about Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.