‘The best vaccine for you is the one available’: Health experts say all vaccines are effective
PROVIDENCE, R.I.(WLNE)- With the newly approved Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, it’s raising questions amongst the three available vaccines… and if one is really better to get than the others.
Does it matter which vaccine I get? Should I delay my appointment so I can get one vaccine over another?
Now, local and state health officials are saying the answer is straightforward; all vaccines are effective, and you should get any one of them, whenever you can.
Much of the debate surrounding the vaccines comes after data from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine effectiveness rate showed to be 66% in preventing moderately symptomatic disease. And, at a first glance it seems lacking compared to Moderna and Pfizer’s nearly 90% efficiency at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
But as the vaccine rollout continues here in Rhode Island, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Health, Joseph Wendelken, says trying to compare these three highly effective vaccines is like trying to compare apples and oranges. Dr. Laura Forman, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Kent Hospital says the same.
“When you think about how these vaccines were tested… they were rolled out at different times, they were trialed at times with different case numbers in the country, so the data that we are getting from them really can’t be compared,” Dr. Forman says.
In an email to ABC6 News, the state health department adds, “They were not held up head-to-head. Also, different strains were more prevalent than others, depending on where the trials were done. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for example,, was tested in South Africa, where the dominant strain is more contagious.”
Dr. Forman joins other experts in arguing all vaccines proven extremely effective; all scoring higher than what the federal vaccine efficacy threshold is.
“I would not worry about which vaccine you are getting. At the end of the day, I would say just get vaccinated,” Dr. Forman says, adding people should ready out to their health care provider if they have serious concerns over specific vaccines.
The Rhode Island Department of Health adds that when you sign on the state’s vaccination sign-up website https://www.vaccinateri.org/, it will show you which location will be using which vaccine. Health officials now urging people to sign-up for the first available appointment when you qualify.
“The quicker people get vaccinated, the quicker things can go back to some type of normal,” Dr. Forman says.
For more information on how the vaccine rollout is progressing here in Rhode Island, please click here.