None of the three authorized vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.
Messenger RNA vaccines – also called mRNA vaccines – are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. They teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies.
The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells.
You can learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines from the CDC.