PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an important tool in the fight against COVID-19, but with multiple vaccine options, will people get to choose which vaccine they get? Health officials say that it all depends on where you get it and how much is available.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being distributed this week, including 34,000 doses in Oregon.
The vaccine has the benefit of being a one-time shot but has also been shown to be less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. However, doctors say that shouldn’t deter anyone from getting the shot.
“There are other benefits to vaccination besides just preventing an infection. If we can make an infection less severe, if we can make you less contagious, those are quite important as well,” said Jennifer Marfori, an infectious disease physician at Providence St. Vincent.
So, if you are hoping to choose which vaccine you get, you may not actually have a choice.
That will be true if you get your vaccine through the state. In an email from the All4Oregon mass vaccination site, it said:
“People who schedule a vaccination at the Oregon Convention Center will not have a choice as to which vaccine they receive. The local pharmacies will be a better option for people who want to choose which vaccine they receive.”
The Oregon Health Authority also added that people would receive whatever vaccine is on hand but will be told by their provider which they are receiving.
Fox 12 checked in with local pharmacies but only heard back from Safeway & Albertsons. The company says that people will be able to choose which vaccine they want, as long as there is supply.
In a statement, the company wrote:
“We have updated our online scheduling tool to ensure patients are aware they are receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine when they register for an appointment. Patients are able to choose the vaccine they prefer, in accordance with what supplies are available.”
Doctors say that if you get an opportunity to get a vaccine, take it.
“Don’t prioritize one over the other. Get whatever vaccine is available to you at the time you’re able to access the vaccine,” said Marfori.