Is one COVID-19 vaccine better than the other two?
State health officials are expecting 73,600 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, probably by Wednesday, along with up to 250,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had higher efficacy rates in clinical trials compared to the J&J vaccine, about 95% to 66% for preventing people from feeling sick at all, state Health Commissioner Persichilli pointed out Monday that the vaccines were studied in different trials among different people in different timelines.
“They were not studied in a head to head comparison or trial, therefore they should not be compared to each other," she said. "All are effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death.”
Health officials have also pointed out the J&J vaccine clinical trials were done at a time and in locations where COVID variants had started spreading, while the Pfizer and Moderna trials were not.
Persichilli said the J&J vaccine prevented severe illness all over the world, “suggesting protection against severe illness with variant strains, and there was similar efficacy across age, sex, race and ethnicity categories and those with underlying conditions.”
Persichilli said the J&J vaccine also has logistical benefits because it does not need to be kept in super-cold storage like the other two brands, making it easier to transport and store. It's also just a single dose. She said this provides "more options and flexibility for the public and vaccine providers.”