However, there are concerns that since the public has heard that the shot is only 72% protected in the United States, and that the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are about 95% protective, some will think it is a “second-class” vaccine. Experts say the figures are very misleading – and urge people to do whatever is initially available to them.
The four FEMA-supported vaccination sites in Florida – Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami – now allow people to choose between J&J and Pfizer, according to Jason Mahon, director of communications for the Florida Emergency Management Division.
“Giving them a choice was important,” Mahon told CNN.
Those from the vaccination site at Miami-Dade College on Wednesday pondered their options before deciding which shot they wanted to be shot at.
Lolita White told CNN that she was “afraid of needles” and could therefore “do so only once.”
“It was liberating,” she said of receiving the J&J vaccine. “But at the same time, it was very scary because … I’m definitely afraid of needles. The people there were very supportive. The man who gave me the shot … said, don’t be afraid.”
Despite J&J’s lower efficacy, White said he was comforted to learn that J&J’s research included protection against new variants of the Covid-19 virus.
Guillermo Munoz said he believed all vaccines were effective, but he also preferred to receive the J&J vaccine because a single dose was needed.
“I want to make sure I’m protected, and I want to make sure that, you know, we’re protecting others,” Munoz told CNN. “The sooner we reach herd immunity, the sooner we will be able to return to the most normal life possible.”
Others say they prefer Pfizer – citing a variety of reasons, including the fact that it has been available longer.
“I just don’t know much about it (the J&J vaccine), so I’d rather use something that’s well known,” Rocio Mendes told CNN.
Ruth Watkins also chose Pfizer – she said she believed so much in the company that she decided to invest in it.
“I don’t choose to buy Johnson & Johnson products and I haven’t done it in a very long time,” Watkins told CNN. “And Pfizer was just a good choice.”
Anthony Fauci, the country’s best infectious disease expert, called on Americans to take one of the three “highly effective” coronavirus vaccines already available to them and not to delay getting one vaccine over another.
“We want to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly and expeditiously as possible.”
Patricia Gibbs, who received Pfizer’s shooting booster on Wednesday, echoed Fauci’s opinion.
“We all need to make that shot to protect everyone,” Gibbs said.
Pete Muntin of CNN, Greg Wallace, Maggie Fox, Chandallis Duster and Jen Christensen contributed to this report.