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Healthy Living: Don't be picky when it comes to coronavirus vaccines

While each vaccine has its benefits and drawbacks, health experts say that now is not the time to be picky about which one you receive.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 12:02 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 11:02 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With the emergency-use authorization of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine, three types of shots are now on the market battling COVID-19. While each has its benefits and drawbacks, health experts say that now is not the time to be picky about which one you receive. 

Oregon Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stacy Chance said that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a welcome addition to the Pfizer and Moderna shots. The new option requires just one dose and regular refrigeration, avoiding the logistical issues that come with distributing the other shots while also boosting overall availability. 

"The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine is gonna be a great addition to what we've got. The Moderna and Pfizer have gotten us a long way," he said. "The added benefit to this vaccine is that it's only a single dose. So it's a lot easier to schedule and to give and you get protection a bit earlier."

Chance recommended eligible Oregonians ignore the urge to refuse one brand of the coronavirus vaccine if offered in favor of another.

"Sometimes people want to be really smart shoppers and figure out what's the best one. Our recommendation will be to get the first one you are offered -- to not be picky amongst the three," he said.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is 72% effective, compared to Pfizer and Moderna's 95% and 94.1%, respectively.

However, Chance said that the vaccines are hard to compare head to head due to how and when they were tested. The rise of new coronavirus variants and testing methodology also lend to the comparison challenge. 

That means that when you become eligible, any type of protection from the virus is good protection.

"If it were offered to me or my family, I wouldn't hesitate to take any of the three," said Dr. Chance. 

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