Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine

General Information

Name: BNT162b2

Manufacturer: Pfizer, Inc., and BioNTech

Type of Vaccine: mRNA

Number of Shots: 2 shots, 21 days apart

Does NOT Contain: Eggs, preservatives, latex
Full List of Ingredients [PDF – 7 pages]external icon

Who Should Get Vaccinated
Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated
  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it was not severe, to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol), you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you had a severe or immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
  • An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must receive medical care. Learn about common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines and when to call a doctor.
  • An immediate allergic reaction means a reaction within 4 hours of exposure, including symptoms such as hives, swelling, or wheezing (respiratory distress).

If you aren’t able to get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you may still be able to get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine. Get more information for people with allergies.

Possible Side Effects

In the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

These side effects happen within a day or two of getting the vaccine. They are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.

Other Authorized and Recommended COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States

You should get the first COVID-19 vaccine that is available to you. Do not wait for a specific brand. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.

Safety Data Summary

  • In clinical trials, reactogenicity symptoms (side effects that happen within 7 days of getting vaccinated) were common but were mostly mild to moderate.
  • Side effects (such as fever, chills, tiredness, and headache) throughout the body were more common after the second dose of the vaccine.
  • Most side effects were mild to moderate. Relatively few people had  reactions that affected their ability to do daily activities.
  • CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more about the safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in real-world conditions.

Learn more about vaccine safety monitoring after a vaccine is authorized or approved for use.

How Well the Vaccine Works

  • Based on evidence from clinical trials in people aged 16 years and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection.
  • In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was also highly effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in adolescents aged 12–15 years, and the immune response in people aged 12–15 years was at least as strong as the immune response in people aged 16–25 years.
  • CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more about how well the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine works in real-world conditions.

Clinical Trial Demographic Information

Clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in people aged 16 years and older included people from the following racial and ethnic, age, and sex categories:

Race

  • 82% White
  • 10% African American
  • 4% Asian
  • 3% other races, multiracial, or race not reported
  • <1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • <1% American Indian or Alaska Native

Ethnicity

  • 73% not Hispanic or Latino
  • 26% Hispanic or Latino
  • <1% not reported

Sex

  • 51% male
  • 49% female

Age

  • 58% 16 to 55 years
  • 42% 55 years and older
  • 21% 65 years and older​
  • 4% 75 years and older

The most frequent underlying medical conditions were obesity (35%), diabetes (8%), and pulmonary disease (8%).

Clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in people aged 12–15 years included people from the following racial, ethnic, and sex categories:

Race

  • 86% White
  • 5% African American
  • 6% Asian
  • <3% other race, multiracial, or race not reported
  • <1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • <1% American Indian or Alaska Native

Ethnicity

  • 88% not Hispanic or Latino
  • 12% Hispanic or Latino
  • <1% not reported

Sex

  • 51% male
  • 49% female

Learn more about demographic information for people who participated in the trials:

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