Why Dr. Fauci Says You Shouldn’t Wait for a Specific COVID-19 Vaccine
The best COVID-19 vaccine to get is the one available to you, says Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
Dr. Fauci explained why getting vaccinated at all matters more than which specific vaccine you get on NBC’s Today show Thursday morning. Anchor Savannah Guthrie asked Dr. Fauci about the possibility that some people may pass on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (72% effective in the U.S.) and wait until they can get the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (94% and 95% effective, respectively).
“Well, I mean, that I think is not a good idea. I think people should get vaccinated,” Dr. Fauci said. Waiting to get vaccinated until a particular brand is available is risky because it allows the virus to spread among people and continue to mutate into potentially more infectious or vaccine resistant variants, Dr. Fauci explained.
“This is a race, Savannah, between the virus and getting vaccines into people. The longer someone waits to get vaccinated, the better chance the virus has to get a variant or a mutation,” Dr. Fauci said. “So the sooner we get vaccine into the arms of individuals, whatever that vaccine is—once it gets by the FDA for an EUA [emergency use authorization], if it’s available to you, get it.”
There is no question that the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will boost the vaccination effort in the U.S., by both increasing the overall supply numbers and extending it throughout different areas in the country, Dr. Fauci explained. “If you have a third vaccine in the mix, it gives individuals who might be in different parts of the country different accessibility to have a vaccine.”
While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s overall efficacy is lower than Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, it also has some significant logistical advantages, as NPR reports. For one thing, it only requires one dose (instead of two, spaced weeks apart). And, of course, 72% protection against the virus is that much better than zero.
Ultimately, having another vaccine option “is nothing but good news,” Dr. Fauci said. Two vaccines is great, he added, but “to have three is absolutely better.”
- Here’s How to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
- The AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Reduces Viral Transmission, New Study Shows
- Watch Dr. Fauci Demonstrate the Right Way to Wear 2 Masks