The one you can get FIRST…..

I have had many friends, family, patients, and community members reach out to me with this question: Which COVID vaccine should I get? 

Some are concerned enough to wait until a site that has what they perceive as the “best” vaccine has an opening, even though the appointment may be weeks away. It can be challenging to explain terms like “efficacy” when these terms have a very specific meaning in scientific medical literature, just like the terms “normal” and “significant”. 

That is why I was thrilled when I came across this chart by Vox. A picture, or a chart!, is truly worth a thousand words. 

 

All three vaccines approved for Emergency Use Authorization are equally and highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID19. The nuanced differences in efficacy boil down to how well they prevent mild and moderate disease that does not require hospitalization.

While there is some data that the vaccines do prevent transmission, we do not have enough data to give robust statistics and results. That is why, for now, we need to continue using masks, social distancing, and hand/surface sanitizing. This is also because most people in the US have not been vaccinated and we need to protect them. 

These recommendations may change in the future once we have more robust evidence on the effectiveness of the vaccines on preventing transmission of COVID19. That’s how science works: We study, analyze, learn, educate. Rinse. Repeat. 

Much like the influenza vaccine, we are not vaccinating against COVID to prevent illness. We are vaccinating to prevent hospitalization and death. 

In the end, the most effective and safest way we will stop this pandemic is to vaccinate everyone who qualifies to get the vaccine.

When you are able to get the vaccine due to age, occupation, or chronic condition, do not worry about which vaccine you will get. The most important thing is to get that shot in your arm.

Resources

Can COVID Vaccines Stop Transmission? 

Why Comparing COVID19 Vaccine Efficacy Numbers Can Be Misleading

 

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