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Does it matter which COVID-19 vaccine you get? New vaccine could get approval soon

Experts: Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are similar
Does it matter which vaccine you get?
Posted at 4:55 AM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 19:20:35-05

Millions of Americans have now been vaccinated with many more still waiting for their turn, but some people are asking if it matters which vaccine you get?

Right now if you get a public vaccination you're being injected with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, but soon the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is set to come online with others likely to follow.

Professor of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. William Schaffner says when it comes to Pfizer and Moderna the two vaccines work the same in the body, have similar effectiveness at more than 90%, and both require two shots. So the public options right now are very similar.

"From the point of view of the patient its six to one, half a dozen to the other, they are very very similar vaccines," said Dr. Schaffner. "The Pfizer vaccine requires a really deep cold chain, needs dry ice, special freezers special handling, where as the Moderna vacccine can be handled at refrigerator temperatures and so its the vaccine that will be more widely distributed"

So the options right now are very similar and he says people won't notice much a difference, but experts want to remind people it's important to make sure you keep track of which vaccine you get.

"You'll get a card when you're vaccinated will tell you when you have to come back for your next dose and which vaccine you got," said Schaffner. "We certainly hope that more vaccines will become available because more vaccines mean more vaccines and that means we can delivery them more quickly to more people."

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be approved for distribution in the coming days. This vaccine requires just a single-shot and trial results show it was 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe illness. This shot uses a cold virus like a Trojan horse to carry the spike gene into the body, where cells make harmless copies of the protein to prime the immune system in case the real virus comes along.

The FDA approval process for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could take days, or even weeks. Once approved we can work to find out how much of it would be sent here to Colorado and in what situations it'll be offered.

For now, the good news health experts say the two COVID-19 vaccines being offered have shown to be highly effective.

Here is more information on the Pfizer vaccine:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html

Here is more information on the Moderna vaccine:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Moderna.html

Analysis of Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/fauci-welcomes-new-vaccine-u-s-arsenal-against-covid-19-n1256224