Vaccines: Which one is for you?

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Three vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer require double doses. Johnson & Johnson requires only one injection. Which one is right for you?

“Consequently I would say to anyone to avail themselves of any of these three vaccines that are offered to them,” LSU Health New Orleans Dr. Fred Lopez recommends.  “They’re all efficacious in preventing severe illness.”

Beginning with the common denominator of efficacy, choosing the right vaccine comes down to which one fits into your busy lifestyle.

“One patient whom I gave the Moderna vaccine lives in Washington D.C.,” says Dr. Brobson Lutz with the Orleans Parish Medical Society.  “He’s going to have to make a special trip back to New Orleans, to get his second dose!”

If you can make both appointments, then it doesn't matter whether you choose Pfizer or Moderna.  If you're too busy, the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine might be your choice.

Dr. Lutz recommends the single shot vaccine if your schedule is full and don't know if you can make it back for a second vaccination shot.

“I think the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to become widely available,” Lutz says.  “It’s easier to make than the Moderna and the Pfizer and supplies are going to be adequate enough that we can do these mass immunizations.”

Whether you're working, busy, always on a tight schedule, or have plenty of time to get vaccinated, picking the one that you’re most likely to go out actually get is important.  Also important is that the vaccine is on hand when you want it.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine doesn't need as extreme refrigeration as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so it can be distributed more widely and rapidly.

“There are some advantages to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Dr. Fred Lopez says.  “Because it does require only one dose—that’s certainly an advantage.  And the storage requirements are much less challenging for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”