Differences Between Vaccines
A lot of people are very hesitant when it comes to taking one vaccine over another, which is understandable. You're not a researcher or vaccine developer, but you hear 95% or 94% and you think that's ought to be better than 66% … But! Remember, data and numbers don't mean anything unless you understand how to interpret them.
There is so much we will not be able to know until these vaccines have been tracked for a longer period of time. However, what we do know right now is that all three vaccines available are all 100% effective at preventing hospitalization & death due to COVID-19. At the end of the day, that's what really matters.
"All three vaccines were 100% effective at preventing severe disease six weeks after the first dose (for Moderna) or seven weeks after the first dose (for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the latter of which requires only one dose). Zero vaccinated people in any of the trials were hospitalized or died of COVID-19 after the vaccines had fully taken effect."
We also have to take into consideration that the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson clinical trials all started at different times, used different volunteer participants, and were conducted in various parts of the world. Epidemiologists say that it's like, "comparing apples to oranges". Each trial defines what counts as efficacy differently, and the Johnson&Johnson trial is the only one that was tested on the newer UK and African mutations of the virus (which these new strands will likely have an impact on the efficacy of any vaccine).
So, remember. All three vaccines went through the same level of rigorous clinical trial process. No one within any of the clinical trials died or were permanently impacted by the vaccine - all participants who received the vaccine have remained healthy and safe. All three vaccines prevent severe illness and death due to COVID-19. All vaccines reduce the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable populations, and bring us one step closer to the end of the pandemic.
Below I've included some great visuals, one from Katelyn Jetelina who runs "Your Local Epidemiologist", one posted by Harris County Public Health, and the other from an article by The Economist:
- This is a great straightforward data comparison with extensive references detailed at the bottom, published by the Mayo Clinic
- This article offers more of an explanation and professional opinion from Dr. Varga with Hackensack Meridian Health
- This article gets into the hot topic of "efficacy" and what is really means, published by LiveScience