(NEXSTAR) – There are currently three available COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. — by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. When it’s your turn to receive the vaccine, can you pick which one you get?
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson said the agency doesn’t recommend being picky about your vaccine. “Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is currently limited, CDC recommends a person be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible with whichever vaccine is available at that time,” the organization told Nexstar.
All three COVID vaccines are considered safe and effective at protecting against COVID-19, though there are some minor differences among them.
The Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 after both doses have been administered. The one-shot vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is 66% effective overall at preventing moderate and severe disease, but it’s 85% efficacious at preventing severe disease.
According to the CDC, “The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.”
There may be some wiggle room for people who’d like to choose their vaccine. You might be able to call ahead to the vaccination center and ask which shot they’re offering, though according to the Wall Street Journal, “many places don’t inform people far ahead of time about which vaccine they will get during the appointment.”
With increased vaccine supply on the horizon, it’s unclear if people will be able to choose their vaccine in the future.
“It is difficult to predict when there will be enough supply to allow people to choose which vaccine to receive, and even when there is enough supply, choice may be limited by distribution considerations,” Dr. Deborah Theodore, an instructor at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, told TODAY. “However, there are few reasons to choose one vaccine over another … The ‘best’ vaccine to get is the one that is available to you the soonest.”