Jump to content

Which Covid Vaccine is better?

Updated | Posted

Specializes in ICU/CCU/Oncology/CSU/Managed Care/ Case Management. Has 20 years experience.

which-vaccine-is-better.jpg.df01d2c8e05dfb94244a8ff56bf2b093.jpg

Hello Fellow Nurses,

Which Covid vaccine supply is better to you Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson& Johnson?

Does anyone know where to review research? I have elderly parents and elderly in laws. I have read about side effects and anaphylaxis reactions. It's so nerve wracking!

I wanted to hear  my fellow Nurses thoughts. At this time I prefer to wait until I discover more research and data to make an informed decision. 

Thank you

I believe I read that the healthcare worker in CA who died after the second dose had received the Pfizer vaccine.  And I just read that the J&J version is only one dose but is also only 62%, 72%, or 80% effective depending upon what you read. Tidbits of info here and there like this might be useful for making a choice, but most will just take what is available to them at the time.

Bella RN, BSN

Specializes in ICU/CCU/Oncology/CSU/Managed Care/ Case Management. Has 20 years experience.

2 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

I believe I read that the healthcare worker in CA who died after the second dose had received the Pfizer vaccine.  And I just read that the J&J version is only one dose but is also only 62%, 72%, or 80% effective depending upon what you read. Tidbits of info here and there like this might be useful for making a choice, but most will just take what is available to them at the time.

Wow thank you for that information. I read about a retired  ER physician in South Florida who took his first dose of the vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer can't recall which one) he broke out into a rash in his hands and feet at home. Then his wife took him into ER and was intubated and died. I would like to post the article but not sure how to  from my phone. You may Google it. He did not have any co morbidities and was quite healthy. But he was a older gentleman.

When I read about these incidents it saddens me and not sure which to take if any.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 27 years experience.

More and more information on both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are coming through as people are getting vaccinated.

Pfizer/BioNTech's initial results have long been published and the easiest way to find it is via this NEJM article:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577

Moderna's results are also published in the NJEM and is found here:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389

Today, Johnson and Johnson, announced the results of the effectiveness of their vaccine in a press release. They are applying for EUA soon:

https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-single-shot-janssen-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-met-primary-endpoints-in-interim-analysis-of-its-phase-3-ensemble-trial

As far as current data on adverse effects from individuals vaccinated after EUA approval of both Pfizer and Moderna, I have no way to confirm the validity of news articles so I won't believe them until they are confirmed by peer review.

On 1/29/2021 at 5:12 PM, juan de la cruz said:

Today, Johnson and Johnson, announced the results of the effectiveness of their vaccine in a press release. They are applying for EUA soon:

https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-single-shot-janssen-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-met-primary-endpoints-in-interim-analysis-of-its-phase-3-ensemble-trial

 

Thank you for the links.  I am especially interested in learning more about the J&J vaccine.  The single shot could be a game changer, especially in underserved areas or with less mobile people.  Plus, it doesn't need the deep freeze that Pfizer does, so it could be given at clinics or doctor's offices.

I've had several patients ask me if they can get a COVID shot before they leave the hospital, but, sadly, we're not giving them inpatient at this time.  One 90-year-old said she doesn't drive anymore, so getting to appointments is hard. She said if she could get the first dose before she's discharged, she would only need to find one ride back for the second shot.

If I'm reading the link correctly, it sounds like J&J takes several weeks to reach peak efficacy, just like Moderna and Pfizer, but with no second dose required.  Of course, we don't know how effective Moderna and Pfizer are over time after the first shot alone because their research trials were based on a two-dose regimen.

While the J&J vaccine efficacy doesn't seem as high as Moderna or Pfizer, it's also being trialed later, with the virus mutating. The South African variant is especially worrisome, but the J&J vaccine seems to be doing well in prevention of severe disease, even if it doesn't prevent infection wholly.  I'm not sure what the efficacy of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines would have been if their research had to contend with the B.1.351 strain, too.

 

Aries22

Specializes in LTC. Has 17 years experience.

If I were you I would wait. The vaccine is too new.  There is no real data on the effectiveness or side effects of the vaccine.  Older people are already at risk. I would not advise older people especially to take the vaccine at this time. It's too new.  I think that people are being used as test subjects for this vaccine.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

19 minutes ago, Aries22 said:

If I were you I would wait. The vaccine is too new.  There is no real data on the effectiveness or side effects of the vaccine.  Older people are already at risk. I would not advise older people especially to take the vaccine at this time. It's too new.  I think that people are being used as test subjects for this vaccine.

Care to share your scientific sources? I ask because if you are "advising" people, I would assume it is based off of research, data, and science.

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

On 2/6/2021 at 11:37 PM, Aries22 said:

If I were you I would wait. The vaccine is too new.  There is no real data on the effectiveness or side effects of the vaccine.  Older people are already at risk. I would not advise older people especially to take the vaccine at this time. It's too new.  I think that people are being used as test subjects for this vaccine.

Unless I’m mistaken one of the terms that we agree to when we join this site is to not offer medical advice. A poster could be Jill the plumber or Joe the bartender for all we know. Even if the poster happens to be a nurse, they still shouldn’t advice people they haven’t met or know the complete medical background of.

The advice you offer is bad advice. I noticed in another thread that you mentioned that you have a degree in psychology, but that you don’t have a nursing degree. Correct?  

Older people are dying from Covid infections at a much higher rate than younger people. Telling them in particular to not take the vaccine is highly irresponsible. You are also mistaken when you say that there is no real data regarding safety and efficacy. All the approved vaccines have gone through phase 3 trials. 
 


https://www.fda.gov/media/144246/download
 


https://www.fda.gov/media/144434/download

 

We also have data on Covid-19 CFR and are gaining more and more information regarding the risk of long-term sequelae. For me personally taking one of the vaccines when it was offered was a no-brainer. I’m mid-forties and healthy and I still feel that the risks of an infection are higher than the possible risks of a vaccine. I’ve taken the vaccine both for myself and for the community I’m a part of. 
 

 

@OP 

My best advice for you is to talk to your healthcare provider, look for information from credible medical sources and peer-reviewed scientific publications. Reading random accounts in the media or on social media is in my opinion not a good and systematic approach to making medical decisions. The information found there is often anecdotal which renders it close to useless. Correlation does not imply causation. Something that the tabloids and various news and talk shows on TV don’t always keep in mind. 

The case of the physician who died after getting a Covid-19 vaccine is being investigated to find out if his death is linked to the vaccine. If we’re thinking of the same person, it appears he developed thrombocytopenia sometime after being vaccinated. 

To put the anecdotal stories you might come across in the media into perspective, so far more than 130 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

Best wishes OP!

 

nocostudentnurse

Specializes in BSN Student, ICU Nurse Extern.

I personally feel that I would not get anything other than Pfizer or Moderna. My mom is 64 and is very close to being eligible for her vaccine and I will make sure she goes to a location offering one of those. The efficacy rates of the pfizer and moderna vaccines are just much more promising to me than J&J. Although the flu vaccine is typically only around 40-45% effective each year, and J&J's COVID vaccine outperforms those statistics, I still feel that I would want myself and my family members to have the best protection possible against COVID. We all know COVID is an entirely different beast than the seasonal flu, so those efficacy rates are very important to me when comparing them to flu vaccine efficacy rates. As for reactions, I personally believe MOST of those horror stories that are being circulated (deaths from the vaccine, etc.) aren't necessarily connected to the vaccination alone. I do believe for a lot of those complications there was some sort of underlying issue that came to surface once the immune system became busy from the vaccination. I personally was not worried about anaphylaxis/negative effects. Beyond that, anaphylaxis is actually a very common issue, and it is easily treated when in the right setting, which most of these vaccines are being administered in locations that have equipment and support to deal with issues that may arise. Hope this helps ease some concerns, or provides you with some more info that will allow you to make the best decision for you! Stay safe!

peripateticRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Little of this... little of that.... Has 5 years experience.

I would say the best vaccine is any one you can get at this point in the game. Where I live you don't have the option of being picky, and I am thrilled to have gotten dose 1 of moderna. 

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

Is it fair to compare J & J's vaccine efficacy with Pfizer and Moderna? If I understand correctly, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were tested before the vaccine was known to be mutating in significant numbers. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested when the virus was noticeably mutating.

Mywords1

Specializes in nursing ethics.

I doubt that I will get a choice. Why you think we will? I am on the early list for it, (because of age and lungs) but eligible population is large where I live and the website says nothing about the company brand. 

I read that baseball great Hank Aaron took the vaccine and died 2 weeks later. He was in his 80s.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

1 hour ago, Mywords1 said:

I doubt that I will get a choice. Why you think we will? I am on the early list for it, (because of age and lungs) but eligible population is large where I live and the website says nothing about the company brand. 

I read that baseball great Hank Aaron took the vaccine and died 2 weeks later. He was in his 80s.

Hank Aaron died in his sleep of natural causes.

The more I read, the more excited I am by the prospect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being available.  Maybe you're thinking to yourself, "Okay, Turtles, why would I want to get the vaccine that's 66% effective vs the vaccine that's 94% effective?  Why would I want a vaccine that got a D when there are two out there that scored As?"  Well, my Allnurses friends, those numbers are misleading for several reasons.  Read on.

First, given the timing and location of the trials, it's pretty clear that J&J would have done better if it had trialed earlier before virus mutation (and we see that with the 72% efficacy rate in the US vs the 57% in South Africa where most cases were the B.1.351 variant).  It's also likely that Moderna and Pfizer would have been less effective had they gone up against the variants.  We see this with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is quite effective against the original and the B.117 mutant in the UK, but is so ineffective against B.1.351 that South Africa is not even using the does they bought. Those vials are literally warehoused because they're not worth using there.  Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson&Johnson are all reported to be working on boosters for variants because this is a known issue.

Second, the different companies used different criteria and timelines with their measurements, so it's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison.  The 66% overall efficacy rate for J&J is against moderate to severe disease.  Moderate was defined as a positive lab test for COVID plus a symptom at 28 days.  So, say you got the J&J vaccine, tested positive and had some diarrhea and loss of smell at 28 days - bam - you would be counted against their numbers.  But if you were in the Moderna trial, and the exact same thing happened, your case would not be included because at 28 days you would be due for your second dose, and Moderna didn't start counting its positive cases until 2 weeks after dose #2.  

Third, Johnson & Johnson is effective in the way it matters most - prevention of severe disease.  At 28 days, the J&J vaccine was 85% effective at preventing severe disease (defined as needing hospitalization).  And the vaccine got better with more time, even without a booster.  After 49 days there was not a single hospitalization or death.  None. That held true across all age groups and all regions, including South Africa.  The only hospitalizations/deaths after 49 days were in the placebo wing of the trial.

Bottom line: there's a single shot vaccine that can be stored in an ordinary refrigerator that basically guarantees that no matter what variant you are exposed to, you will survive and won't need hospitalization (85% efficacy against severe disease after 4 weeks and 100% efficacy at 7 weeks). That is amazing to me! Yes, it would be great not to test positive or have even mild symptoms, but from a public health standpoint, we're not shutting things down because there's a virus that makes people feel crappy while they recover at home.  We're worried about a virus that hospitalizes and kills them, and the J&J vaccine has spectacular results against severe disease.

Edited by turtlesRcool

On 2/21/2021 at 7:44 AM, turtlesRcool said:

The more I read, the more excited I am by the prospect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being available.  Maybe you're thinking to yourself, "Okay, Turtles, why would I want to get the vaccine that's 66% effective vs the vaccine that's 94% effective?  Why would I want a vaccine that got a D when there are two out there that scored As?"  

I received the J&J vaccine the first week of December in a Stage 3 clinical trial.  They are currently enlisting subjects for a second dose of J&J.  This is just speculation, but J&J may end up being nearly as effective as Moderna and Pfizer with a second dose.