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COVID Vaccine: Can you choose which brand you get?

Choosing a vaccine may not be in the cards.
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 9:40 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -The Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is steps away from FDA approval. With three available vaccines, can you choose which brand you get?

The short answer is no.

Health officials said its just not an option right now because there aren’t enough allocations to be picky. Pfizer, Moderna and soon Johnson & Johnson: three covid vaccines aiming to tame the pandemic and some want to take their pick.

“I think it’s good for people to have a choice. I want the two shot with the higher efficacy. I would rather have more protection,” Andrew Macrostie, Madison resident said.

“If you want a little more effectiveness and have to go back a second time, it would be worth it,” Madison resident Mary George said.

Others said they’ll take any shot.

“They’re all fairly similar in effectiveness,” another Madison resident Tony Benevenga said.

Can you choose which one you get?
Can you choose which one you get?(none)

With a short supply, Dr. William Hartman said choosing a vaccine may not be in the cards.

“A lot of times it’s going to be whatever vaccine is available,” Dr. William Hartman, UW-Health Astrazeneca covid vaccine trial principal investigator said.

The single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a 66 percent efficacy rate, which is lower than the two-dose options in Pfizer and Moderna. Hartman said it’s important not to get caught up in the numbers.

“It [Johnson & Johnson] gives you about a three out of four chance of preventing you from from getting COVID in the first place,” Dr. Hartman said.

Compare that to the flu shot. He said those are about 40 to 55 percent effective.

“Did you get a good vaccine or did you get a bad vaccine? I don’t think that that’s necessarily a fair argument to make, because all of these are very effective vaccines,” Dr. Hartman said.

He said top priority is preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths and the best choice is to get vaccinated.

“If they [vaccines] can minimize the effects of the virus in your body and if they can help reduce transmission of the virus to somebody else, you’ve accomplished one major goal,” Dr. Hartman said.

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