COVID-19 | Sept. 21, 2021

Vaccine General Information FAQs

Q. How is Comirnaty (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) related to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine? 
A. The FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech product Comirnaty (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA have the same formulation and can be administered interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series. 

The Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers provides additional information about both the approved and authorized vaccine. 

The Coast Guard’s service member vaccine mandate is consistent with the Secretary of Defense’s direction. The Secretary of Defense has authorized the use of compelled COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance. Per memorandum from Assistant Secretary for Defense (Health Affairs) issued 14 September 2021, DoD health care providers will use both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine interchangeably for the purpose of vaccinating Service members in order to comply with the Secretary of Defense direction.  


Q. Where can individuals go for more information about the vaccine they will be administered?
A. Please visit the CDC’s webpage, Different COVID-19 Vaccines (, to learn more about the various vaccines in Phase 3 Clinical trials. You can also learn more about U.S. COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, including vaccines in earlier stages of development, by visiting


Q. What agency is responsible for the overall plan?
A. The Coast Guard is participating in the Department of Defense (DoD) COVID-19 Vaccine distribution operation. Agencies included in this partnership include, among others, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Coast Guard.  On 22 January 2021, the President issued a National Strategy for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, available at