However, there have been concerns that because the public has heard that the shot is only 72% protective in the US and the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are around 95% protective, some will think this is a “second class “vaccine. Experts say these numbers are very misleading – and encourage people to take the shot that is first available to them.
Florida’s four FEMA-backed vaccination sites – in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami – now allow people to choose between J&J and Pfizer, according to Jason Mahon, communications director for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
“It was important to give them the choice,” Mahon told CNN.
Those at the Miami-Dade College vaccination site on Wednesday considered their options before deciding which shot they would have administered.
Lolita White told CNN that she is “afraid of needles” and therefore can “only do this once.”
“It was liberating,” she said of getting the J&J vaccine. “But it was very scary at the same time because … I’m definitely scared of needles. People in there were very supportive. The guy who gave me the shot … said, do not be scared.”
Despite J & J’s lower efficiency, White said she was comforted to hear that J & J’s research included protection against the new variants of the Covid-19 virus.
Guillermo Muñoz said he trusts all vaccines to be effective – but he also preferred to get the J&J vaccine because it required a dose.
“I want to make sure I’m protected, and I want to make sure you know we’re protecting others,” Muñoz told CNN. “The sooner we reach herd immunity, the sooner we will be able to return to as normal a life as we possibly can.”
Others said they prefer Pfizer – citing various reasons, including that it has been available longer.
“I just do not know much about it (J&J vaccine), so I would rather go with something that is familiar,” Rocio Mendez told CNN.
Ruth Watkins also chose Pfizer – she said she believes in the company so much that she decided to invest in it.
“I do not choose to buy Johnson & Johnson products and have not done so for a very long time,” Watkins told CNN. “And Pfizer was just a good choice.”
Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading expert on infectious diseases, urged Americans to take any of the three “highly effective” coronavirus vaccines now available to them and not delay in getting one vaccine over another.
“We want to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as quickly as possible.”
Patricia Gibbs, who got the Pfizer booster shot on Wednesday, reiterated Fauci’s opinion.
“We all need to get this shot to protect everyone,” Gibbs said.
CNN’s Pete Muntean, Greg Wallace, Maggie Fox, Chandelis Duster and Jen Christensen contributed to this report.