With a third COVID-19 vaccine soon arriving in Washington, doctors say eligible people should not be picky about which one they receive.
“The best choice of the vaccine is the one that's available,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases.
Clinics have been using the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which are remarkably effective at protecting people from the virus once they're fully vaccinated. The state says more than 60,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine should start arriving this week.
Studies show it's slightly less effective than Moderna and Pfizer, but it's still a powerful tool that doctors say will save lives and prevent severe illness.
“If you go to a place and you have J & J and that's the one that's available now, I would take it,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday. “I think people need to get vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible.”
As vaccine supply increases and more options become available, people may be able to choose a brand they prefer, Washington’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair Shah said last week.
But for now, most people will not have a choice.
“If you are eligible, and you have an opportunity to get the vaccine, and you have an appointment, get the vaccine regardless of which vaccine it is,” Shah said.
“Right now, we’re trying to get the vaccine out as quickly and as equitably as possible,” he said.