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Dr. Fauci Says Do Not Make This COVID Vaccine Mistake

It could put you at risk.

Americans should avoid comparing the effectiveness rates of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist and chief medical adviser to President Biden. The two-shot vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer were found to be 94% and 95% effective, respectively, in clinical trials, while the newly approved single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found to be 72% effective in the U.S. 

But experts have warned against viewing the Johnson & Johnson shot as inferior to the Moderna and Pfizer versions, pointing out that only the Johnson & Johnson clinical trials were recent enough to measure efficacy against the new COVID-19 variants; the Johnson & Johnson shot's effectiveness rate might be higher if it included a second dose; and all three vaccines have proved to be nearly 100% effective against preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci Called All Vaccines "Highly Efficacious" And Says Don't Make the Mistake of Comparing Them

It's a message Fauci reiterated late last week. "We have three highly efficacious vaccines with a very good safety profile," he said. "Each of them are very effective in preventing clinically apparent disease, but importantly, all three of them have a very important effect of being extraordinarily effective in preventing severe disease and particularly preventing hospitalizations and deaths."

"We don't compare one to the other," he added. "The only way that you can effectively do that is by having head-to-head comparisons in a clinical trial, which was not done." 

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Get the First Vaccine You Can, Says Fauci

Fauci advised getting vaccinated as soon as you're eligible. "If you go in and a vaccine is available to you, I would take the first available vaccine, because the most important thing to do is to get vaccinated and not to try and figure out what one may be, or may not be, better than the other," he said. 

On March 1, Johnson & Johnson began shipping the first of 4 million doses to vaccination sites around the country. The company has pledged to have 100 million shots available by June. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine's emergency use approval, a little more than a week ago, has led President Biden to say there will be enough vaccines for every American who wants one by the end of May, two months earlier than previously estimated.

The U.S. vaccination campaign has ramped up in recent weeks, with 1.9 million shots being administered daily on average and exceeding 2 million for the first time this week. According to the CDC, as of March 6, 29.7 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID, about 9% of the total U.S. population. 

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How to Survive this Pandemic

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael