I am reminded of early December when the vaccines were first to be released. I predicted that 1/3 of patients would trip over themselves to get the vaccine for Covid 19. The next 1/3 would adopt a “wait and see” policy and get them when there friends had all had one and the final third were those who would never get them. Unfortunately I have proven to be right.
But, if you are considering a vaccine, which is the best? This is a question physicians are often asked. The standard reply is that you should take the first vaccine offered. This was sound advice when vaccines were in short supply AND the vaccines are all effective. Now we have a surplus of vaccines and we can pick and chose. I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that a patient had been immunized with the Jannsen vaccine and contracted Covid 19. I had previously mentioned rare side effects from that vaccine which caused it to be pulled, temporarily, from the market. So, if you have a choice, which vaccine should you take? All are effective. In a good year flu vaccine is 50-60% effective, for example. The following chart is from the independent review organization, The Medical Letter. In vitro, by the way, means in the test tube.
Click on the above link. It is a little clearer.
As the table demonstrates, the Pfizer vaccine is more effective against the UK variant which is the predominant strain circulating. The Moderna vaccine is only described by it’s activity in the test tube. My hunch is (and it is only that) that is as effective as the Pfizer vaccine since they are very similar. It may, therefore, not be a fair comparison against the Jannsen vaccine. The key point is that they are 100% effective at preventing death due to Covid 19!