Consumers in the U.S. are used to have many choices when it comes to the products we buy. Usually that is a good thing. But sometimes it creates a dilemma in deciding which is the right one to get. It turns out that the problem of choice is creating concerns about which of the vaccines against the coronavirus we should take.
Currently, the two vaccines available are produced by Moderna and Pfizer. However, a vaccine from Johnson and Johnson could become available within the next few days. And there could be one or two more available in a few more weeks.
So, which one should you take?
According to an article last week in StatNews, a newsletter that covers health and medical issues, the answer seems to be “whichever one is available to you first.”
“In the event that you have the choice to get vaccinated, I’d encourage you to take the vaccine that you’re given,” John Brooks, the chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 response, said at a briefing Friday.”
Studies show the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, the only two approved by the U.S. so far, are fully effective at one to two weeks after the second dose, depending on the vaccine; while they prevent disease, it is not clear whether they prevent asymptomatic infection
But as the StatNews article said, “… some people might remember the headlines of Moderna’s and Pfizer’s product offering greater than 90% effectiveness against Covid-19 and question J&J’s announcement of 66% effectiveness.
“Public health officials were quick to tout J&J’s data as a strong result, particularly given that regulators initially said a vaccine would only have to be 50% effective to be authorized. A vaccine that is 66% effective is an incredibly powerful tool in fighting respiratory viruses, they stressed. ‘We would be celebrating a seasonal influenza vaccine with 60% efficacy,’ Jay Butler, the deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC, told reporters.
“In the U.S. arm of the clinical trial, J&J’s vaccine was 72% effective, which, in the absence of the mRNA data, ‘one would have said this was an absolutely spectacular result,’ Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a separate White House briefing. What is more, the immunization was 85% effective at preventing severe disease and, in the trial, all hospitalizations and deaths occurred among people who got the placebo. None of the vaccinated people diagnosed with Covid-19 got sick enough to need hospital care.
“ ‘If it comes to getting my family members vaccinated, and all that’s available is J&J or Novavax, I’d tell them to take it,’ said Robert Hancock, president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians.”