Print

Vaccine effectiveness

The vaccines have been made differently but all approved COVID-19 vaccines offer strong levels of protection against COVID-19. Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine to be up to 94%, the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine to be up to 90%, and AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine up to 89% with two doses.

Having a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to take to reduce the serious effects of COVID-19 in people who become infected with the virus. Current evidence shows that people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine have a much lower chance of developing more serious symptoms from COVID-19. This is compared to those who did not get the vaccine.

Even though the COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be very effective there is still a chance you may get COVID-19. No vaccine is 100% effective.

It is important to understand that the COVID-19 vaccines will not infect you with the COVID-19 virus, because the vaccines do not contain live COVID-19 virus.

The vaccines are designed to trigger our immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein of the virus. This means if you were to ever get the COVID-19 virus, your body is better prepared to fight the illness.

Importantly, even after vaccination, Queenslanders will still be encouraged to wash their hands regularly and maintain physical distance to help protect yourself and others.

For more information please read the Queensland COVID-19 vaccine information resource.

Duration 00:01:12

Safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines will offer protection against the virus, helping to prevent death and serious illness.

But how do they actually work?

Like other vaccines, such as the flu shot, COVID-19 vaccines will be given with a needle.

This triggers an immune response in the body – which is the body’s natural way of defending itself.

The vaccine will strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Vaccines may contain either killed or weakened versions of the virus that causes the disease – or a small part of the virus, such as a protein.

There is no risk that you will get the disease from a vaccine.

When your immune system recognises this virus, or parts of it, in the vaccine as being foreign, it responds by creating memory cells and antibodies that will protect you against future infection or disease.

As a result, you will be less likely to have severe COVID-19 symptoms after a vaccination.

To learn more, visit health.gov.au