Here’s what you need to know.
Are the vaccines safe?
All three FDA approved vaccines are safe. Vaccines are required to undergo more trials than any other pharmaceutical before being approved, and the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were held to these same safety standards. The mRNA technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been in development for decades, and the speed at which they were developed did not allow manufacturers to overlook safety measures. The technology behind the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has also been in development for a decade, right here in Massachusetts at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. These vaccines were also vetted by healthcare leaders and public health officials, who have confirmed that they are fully safe.
To date, more than 1 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the safety of the vaccine. Learn more at Trust the Facts. Get the Vax.
Which vaccine will I be getting?
Vaccine providers cannot choose which vaccine they receive, so the vaccine you receive will likely be decided based on the supply available at your clinic at the time of your vaccination. Our clinics are ready and prepared to administer any vaccine provided by the state, as all three are safe and effective. The main difference in the three vaccines is related to the logistics of storing them.
Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine effective?
Yes. This vaccine has been shown to be highly effective in protecting against COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths. Those who receive it should have every confidence that they are protected against serious illness due to COVID-19 and its variants.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has proven to be effective in all the most important categories. It is 85% effective in preventing serious illness due to COVID-19. It is 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.
How do the clinical trials of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer/Moderna) compare?
The results from the Johnson & Johnson clinical trials should not be directly compared to the mRNA vaccine trials.
The Johnson & Johnson trials were conducted within a different timeframe during the global pandemic, and in different locations than the mRNA trials. Both the timing and location of the Johnson & Johnson trials aligned with the emergence of COVID-19 variants, which were not a significant factor when the mRNA vaccines were tested.
Again, all three vaccines have proven to be highly effective in all the most important categories: preventing severe illness, preventing hospitalization, and preventing death as a result of COVID-19.