COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-Moderna (Investigational)

Brand and Other Names:mRNA-1273 (Moderna)
  • Print

Dosing & Uses


Dosage Forms & Strengths

injection, suspension

  • 100mcg/0.5mL per dose
  • Each multiple-dose vial contains 10 doses

COVID-19 Disease Prevention

December 18, 2020: Emergency use authorization (EUA) issued by FDA for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals aged ≥18 years

0.5 mL IM x2 doses administered 1 month apart

Dosing Considerations

Limitations of effectiveness: May not protect all vaccine recipients

There are no data available on interchangeability of this vaccine with other COVID-19 vaccines; individuals who have received 1 dose should receive a second dose with the same vaccine to complete vaccination series

<18 years: Safety and efficacy not established

Vaccine efficacy in participants aged ≥65 years was 86.4% compared with 95.6% in participants aged 18 to <65 years


Adverse Effects

Mandatory for vaccination providers to report to the vaccine adverse events reporting system (VAERS) all vaccine administration errors, serious adverse events, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, and hospitalized or fatal cases of COVID-19 following vaccination


Injection site pain (86.9%)

Fatigue (38.4%)

Headache (35.3%)

Myalgia (23.7%)

Use of antipyretic/analgesic medication (23.3%)

Axillary swelling/tenderness (11.6%)


Nausea/vomiting (9.4%)

Chills (9.2%)

Swelling (hardness), >25 mm (6.7%)

Pain, Grade 3 (3.2%)

Erythema >25 mm (3%)

Headache, Grade 3 (1.9%)

Fatigue, Grade 3 (1.1%)


Fever (0.9%)

Myalgia, Grade 3 (0.6%)

Swelling (hardness), Grade 3 (0.5%)

Arthralgia, Grade 3 (0.4%)

Axillary swelling/tenderness, Grade 3 (0.3%)

Erythema, Grade 3 (0.3%)

Chills, Grade 3 (0.1%)

Fatigue, Grade 4 (<0.1%)

Arthralgia, Grade 4 (<0.1%)

Nausea/vomiting, Grade 3 (<0.1%)

Fever, Grade 3-4 (<0.1%)




Known history of severe allergic reaction (eg, anaphylaxis) to any component in vaccine

CDC listed contraindications

  • CDC has listed the following contraindications
  • Severe allergic reaction after previously receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or its components
  • Allergic reaction (of any severity) immediately after receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or its components, including polyethylene glycol (PEG)
  • Immediate allergic reaction (of any severity) to polysorbate (due to potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity with the vaccine ingredient PEG)


Immunocompromised persons, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have diminished immune response to the vaccine

Vaccine may not protect all vaccine recipients

Allergic reactions

Appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available following vaccination

Do not administer second dose to anyone experiencing a severe reaction (ie, requiring epinephrine or hospitalization) to the first dose

Individuals with histories of severe allergic reaction to vaccines should consult their doctors about the COVID-19 vaccine

People with severe allergies to food, pets, latex, oral medications, or environmental conditions may be vaccinated according to interim CDC clinical considerations for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Drug interaction overview

  • Data are not available to assess concomitant administration with other vaccines

Pregnancy & Lactation


Data are insufficient to inform of vaccine-associated risks in pregnancy

Pregnancy registry: Women who are vaccinated with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy are encouraged to enroll in the registry by calling 1-866-MODERNA (1-866-663-3762)

Animal data

  • Vaccine administered IM to female rats 28 and 14 days prior to mating, and on gestation days 1 and 13
  • No vaccine-related adverse effects on female fertility, fetal development, or postnatal development were reported


Data are not available to assess effects on breastfed infants or on milk production/excretion

Pregnancy Categories

A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

NA: Information not available.



Mechanism of Action

Nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2; formulated in lipid particles, which enable delivery of RNA into host cells to allow expression of the SARS-CoV-2 S antigen

Elicits an immune response to the S antigen, which protects against COVID-19



IM Preparation

Thaw frozen suspension before administering

Thaw in refrigerated at 2-8ºC (36-46ºF) for 2.5 hr

After thawing, let vial stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before administering

Alternatively, thaw at room temperature of 15-25ºC (59-77ºF) for 1 hr

After thawing, do not refreeze

Do not shake; swirl vial gently after thawing and between each withdrawal

Do not dilute

Suspension is white to off-white and may contain white or translucent product-related particulates

Visually inspect for other particulate matter and/or discoloration administration; if either of these conditions exists, do not administer

IM Administration

For IM injection only


Does not contain preservatives

Vial stoppers are not made with natural rubber latex

Unopened vials

Store in original carton to protect from light

  • Frozen
    • Store frozen at -25ºC to -15ºC (-13ºF to 5ºF)
    • Do not store on dry ice or below -40ºC (-40ºF)
  • Refrigerated
    • Can be refrigerated at 2-8ºC (36-46ºF) for up to 30 days before first use
    • Do not refreeze
  • Unpunctured vials
    • May be stored refrigerated or at room temperature at 8-25ºC (46-77ºF) for up to 12 hr
    • Do not refreeze

After first dose withdrawn from vial

  • Store refrigerated or at room temperature at 2-25ºC (36-77ºF)
  • Discard vial after 6 hr
  • Do not refreeze


Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.