Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Did you get to choose which vaccine you received?

Asked by JLeslie (60850points) 1 month ago from iPhone

This is assuming your country offers two or more vaccine choices.

Did the government decide which one you would get?

If you had no choice was it because the only vaccine available within a reasonable distance of your home was a certain brand?

Do you think people should be able to choose?

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59 Answers

smudges's avatar

I accepted whatever vaccine they were giving out at the place where I received it. There were other locations giving a vaccine from a different manufacturer, so I had access to at least two. I don’t remember if there were locations giving a 3rd manufacturer’s product or not. I’m not sure it would be a good idea to have people choose the one they want.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Nope. Where I am, it’s more or less random whether you get Pfizer or Moderna. You show up at the vaccine clinic, they tell you what they unfroze that morning, and you get your first shot. Then they schedule you for the second shot, which is given in a different location that alternates between Pfizer and Moderna each day.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is being used here for targeted vaccinations. Basically, they go to places where it might be harder to get people to make two appointments and just start giving out the shots. That includes certain neighborhoods, but it’s also how we vaccinated a lot of our essential workers (since they’re still working full-time).

jca2's avatar

In my area, certain pharmacies have certain ones. When I got the call from a pharmacy I was on a waiting list for, they told me which one they had. I had the choice, of course, to not go there and go somewhere else. A friend was shopping around for the J&J and she got it from a local community clinic.

anniereborn's avatar

I was happy to get an appointment at all. I took what they had. I knew before I got there that I was getting Moderna.

janbb's avatar

I was willing to take whatever they gave me for the sake of getting it. I honestly can’t remember if I knew before I go there whether it was Moderna or Pfizer. At that time, J & J wasn’t yet available but I preferred getting one of the two shots anyway. It was hard enough getting appointments that I didn’t plan to be fussy.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes. Moderna or J&J.

elbanditoroso's avatar

When I went in for shot #1, there was only Moderna. When I came back for shot #2, I had no choice but to get Moderna.

But the people in the other line (the people just getting #1) could choose between Moderna and Pfizer.

Of all my family and acquaintances, all were given Moderna except my parents (pfizer) and one colleague at work (J&J).

raum's avatar

I’m still waiting to be eligible on the 15th.

Though I’ve noticed that when scheduling, you can tell if it’s Pfizer/Moderna or J&J based on how many appointments they schedule you for.

Husband already got vaccinated because he’s in an at-risk group. I was hoping for Moderna if given a choice. But most of the appointments in the area were for Pfizer and we didn’t want to wait.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t even attempt to choose. I just went with the first company who called me, which happened to be Walmart.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No. I just rolled up my sleeve.

YARNLADY's avatar

I could have, but I didn’t ask.

tedibear's avatar

I didn’t get to choose, which was fine with me. Pfizer dose 2 happens this Thursday!

Caravanfan's avatar

I’m going to write this only once.

It doesn’t matter.

JLeslie's avatar

I did not say it matters, I asked if people get a choice where they live. A friend of mine in Maryland basically said he had no choice. I am not sure if that is really correct. If someone for some reason has a preference, I think it is good they can choose. If they travel a lot they might prefer the J&J for instance. If they are afraid of the mRNA (doesn’t matter if it is an irrational fear) I think it is good they can opt for the J&J. If they had bad reactions to previous vaccines, maybe they feel better getting the Moderna or Pfizer. Some people want the mRNA, but don’t want to get a triple dose, so they only want Pfizer. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they will get the shot. Most people seem ok with any of the shots, but a percentage of people are not, and it is not such a very small percent that we can ignore it in my opinion.

Brian1946's avatar

My top priority was getting vaccinated ASAP, so I took the earliest nearby appointment available, regardless of what vaccine they were using.

AFAIK, each venue was offering only one vaccine, but the maker varied between some sites.

I probably could have googled for a specific vaccine, and tried to get an appt at whatever venue was giving it.

So no, my government didn’t decide which specific one I personally would get, but I do think they were a factor in determining what vaccines would be available to the area it governs.

stanleybmanly's avatar

No. It never occurred to me to ask. As it was I was ambushed unexpectedly and rushed through the process in less than 15 minutes. It was only when I returned for the second shot and one of the technicians asked which vaccine I had received the first time that I had to reply “Don’t you know?” The tech then showed me that it was right there on my vaccination card (moderna).

hello321's avatar

@Caravanfan – That answer was kinda a bummer, and is one of the complaints people have with the medical community. A) It’s completely unrelated to the question, and B) It clearly matters to people, so being so dismissive C) undermines vaccine effort. Great job.

JLeslie's avatar

@hello321 Wow, we agree on something.

The medical establishment is trying to promote all the vaccines as equal, and take what you can get. I personally am frustrated with how the trials were conducted, I feel they purposely omitted testing for things they could control for, and likely the companies did not collaborate for monetary reasons. I’m not accusing @Caravanfan of being “establishment” just talking about the general push from health officials in the media. I trust our doctor here to tell us really what is going on on the front lines and I think it’s invaluable information.

The countries still waiting might wind up getting different doses of the vaccine as the manufacturers continue to watch and test. I predict (I could be completely wrong) Pfizer will move to a higher dose for people over 65, Moderna will cut the dose for everyone, probably in half, but also might give a higher dose to 65 and up, and J&J will have a second shot.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think what @Caravan tried to express is simply ‘it doesn’t matter as long as everyone gets one.”

Since he is the one who convinced me about flu shots a decade ago (very well and thoroughly I may add), and so many are opting out, I understand he could be as frustrated with these kinds of questions, like many in the medical communities who have had to watch so many die. I could be wrong.

My husband got the J&J Friday, was back to normal by Sunday. Mostly just tired and sore up through his neck. But it’s the one dose and done, so we expected it. He’s 44.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@hello321 oh stop. It does not matter which vaccine you get. Period. They all do the same thing. Anyone who researches too deeply into them to find out the differences is just a paranoid conspiracy nut.

hello321's avatar

@Caravanfan – ^ See what I mean?

raum's avatar

Big picture: All vaccines do the same job. They reduce the risk of death. We need as many people as possible to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Small picture: Vaccines are different. Saying they are all the same is saying that you don’t trust people to weigh the differences and still get vaccinated.

I don’t see an issue with considering the small picture, if you don’t lose sight of the big picture.

hello321's avatar

^ Exactly

Here in MA, everybody wants the vaccine immediately and there is short supply. When you become eligible, you can either wait for an invite to mass vaccination site (which takes forever, and may require significant travel), or keep refreshing a handful of other sites (CVS, Walgreens, health centers, etc) in hopes you’ll win the lottery and get an appointment.

Most people want whatever vaccine is available to them, period. But when you make your appointment at CVS, for example, you are making it for a specific vaccine. This has led to people wanting to know if they are choosing the most effective one.

If the average person goes online to get info on which vaccine they should get, they are met with a bunch of percentages which appear to reflect a difference in efficacy and protection against current variants between these vaccines. They are also met with public health messaging recommendations about how they’re all “effective” and we should all get vaccinated. That’s great news, but doesn’t serve the public who is interested in understanding which choice they should make when they are forced to choose.

So, while I understand public health advocates’ desire to push “all vaccines are effective” message, I think it severely undermines the effort for doctors to push back on the idea that people should be informed.

Note also what happened above. Someone didn’t even realize that there is a difference between the mRNA and viral vector vaccines. The reason public health officials are treating these vaccines differently is that there is a difference. The above commenter doesn’t appear to even know that J&J requires only one shot, while Pfizer and Moderna require two. This means that fully-vaccinated status takes 1 month longer with Moderna than J&J. This timing issue alone is critical info that we all need in order to make decisions.

Those who declare that they are not going to be vaccinated are not the people researching the differences. And keeping info from people by flattening the actual differences between the 3 current vaccines can only be interpreted as an attempt to dissuade people from getting vaccinated.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think any of us, with the exception of @Caravanfan, have the medical training and experience to understand the difference. Fauci said it, our resident doctor is saying it, it doesn’t matter. Just get vaccinated.

hello321's avatar

@Caravanfan – ^ See what I mean?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree about the medical training, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of doctors don’t bother to look into the data and ongoing studies. I’m not saying @Caravanfan is one of those doctors.

I do think right now it’s important that as much of the population as possible gets vaccinated.

Here’s an article that talks about Moderna looking at a half dose because their dose is 100mcg and Pfizer 30 mcg. I noticed this months ago when I read over the insert. The efficacy seems to be very similar, so are we overdosing with Moderna unnecessarily and does it matter?

Here’s an article about Pfizer in 80 year olds and older, and 30% of the people did not develop antibodies. 30%! I haven’t seen if Moderna at the higher dose is more effective in that age group and the Pfizer wasn’t a huge study. You can just read the abstract if you’re interested. Every reason to believe that maybe over 70 also have reduced immune response.

J&J I assume took a bet on getting approved with one dose because it would take longer to test two, and they were already behind compared to Pfizer and Moderna and others. All along I have said I think it will become a two dose, and indeed there are some trials for a second dose. Here is info on the two dose trial.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if recommendations change. It will be a political fiasco if they do, because then you will get the anti-science anti-vax people saying we were used as guinea pigs while being assured it was tested enough. I would say it was tested “enough” but could have been better.

It seems to me in the phase trials the vaccine companies were not testing antibodies production maybe, and not fully collaborating with each other regarding doses and efficacy. They also were not testing for asymptomatic viral shedding. Big misses in my opinion if I am right, and I am assuming purposely omitted so it wouldn’t be reported and the research was obviously approved that way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course it’s important to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’m just agreeing with that while still showing not all vaccines are equal. I’ll just assume you didn’t read my full post, which is fine. They are equal enough.

lastexit's avatar

No. My biggest concern was getting an appointment within a few miles of where I live and not having to drive a distance in Los Angeles traffic.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Quick point of logic: “they all do the job” is not equivalent to “they are all the same/equal.” Furthermore, charity probably requires us to interpret @Caravanfan as saying the former rather than the latter (and @Dutchess_III explicitly said “they all do the same thing” rather than “they are all the same”). So it’s possible that you’re all arguing over more of a perceived disagreement than an actual disagreement.

I also find it hard to believe that anything said on Fluther could undermine a worldwide vaccination effort, though I recognize that charity also requires us to interpret @hello321 as being concerned with dismissiveness beyond just this site.

Now let’s see if this answer is taken as intended, or if it just makes me wish I’d stayed out of it.

raum's avatar

My comment was less about @Caravanfan and more in response to the general sentiment that it doesn’t matter which vaccine you get.

I have this disagreement with my sister (who is in healthcare) all the time.

She says it doesn’t matter and I should stop reading the research on them. Which really drives me bonkers. Because it’s not like I’m not going to get a vaccine.

But when I’m finally eligible, I’d like to make the most informed decision I can at that moment in time. (Yes, I know the data can change.)

I think that consistent public health messaging around vaccines does more good than harm. But that’s geared to not dissuade people from getting vaccinated. And my sister knows I fully intend to get vaccinated as soon as possible. So why is it necessary to dismiss the most current research?

I think our brains can handle both big picture and small picture here.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raum I just read J&J is getting pulled frpm the US due to blood clots. Seems like that kind of info matters.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Not pulled, just paused while they investigate. The FDA is asking states to pause J&J.

jca2's avatar

What a nightmare for anyone who got the J&J.

JLeslie's avatar

If people are 3 weeks out already from receiving J&J they are probably fine and no need to think about it.

Maybe just high risk people shouldn’t take it, like high risk for clotting shouldn’t take birth control. I think it will be allowed to go forward like the AstraZeneca. We’ll see.

hello321's avatar

Will someone tell the FDA and CDC that “it doesn’t matter”?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca2 Like my husband with epilepsy and other healrh issues. :(

chyna's avatar

I read those same articles, @JLeslie, and I feel they are trying to put a light hearted spin on it. My niece just got it last week and has all kinds of medical issues including breast cancer. She is scared to death something horrible will happen to her.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna What do you mean by light hearted spin? Trying to make it sound like it’s not a big deal? I would agree journalists write and repeat medical information without knowing much about what they are talking about, and like to get emotional reactions from readers to keep their interest.

Why is your niece scared to death?

I read the actual insert about the mRNA dosage months ago, I’ve posted the inserts here on fluther regarding side effects when people ask about side effects. Actual hard data of thousands of people rather than 15 jellies. I think people are more likely to read articles like I posted than manufacturer inserts.

I just did my second Moderna even though I think the Pfizer might have been the “better” choice for me. I’m concerned that possibly my parents are not immune after being given the Pfizer since they are in their late 70’s. I think maybe they should get an antibody test just to be sure.

I hope they do the same test for Moderna and 80 year olds. Actually, even younger, 70 and up. Maybe J&J will wind up being better for older people, but if there is a clotting risk that would leave out a lot of older people. My dad would definitely be disqualified having had a DVT before. Plus, J&J likely needs a second dose to increase its efficacy.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry for a second post. If someone got the J&J and are doing fine they will most likely be just fine. If you received it in the last three weeks ask your doctor if you can take a baby aspirin every day for a few weeks if that is something you don’t do already. That might guard against blood clots and make the person feel better.

I’m not a doctor, just trying to suggest something so people aren’t so worried. Check with your doctor.

It’s still very rare to have a severe and life threatening side effect. People are bad with calculating risk.

Usually, the public is unaware when a drug is on pause for investigation, this is standard practice. Right now everything is in the news so the public is more informed than usual.

A good thing is the reporting is probably better than usual, side effects are usually under-reported and doctors usually are reluctant to see relationships between medication/vaccination and health problems and report. This is the first time in my life I have seen the general public told about VAERS reporting where the public is likely to report on their own if they feel something went wrong related to the vaccine.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I think we just need to be careful making people feel like idiots for not taking a vaccine when two of them are now considered questionable, AstroZeneca and J&J.

Even here we’ve discussed anti-vaxxers skepticism, and these suspensions are not helping.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree. A lot of people who were scared about mRNA new technology or who have had bad allergic reactions in their lifetime to anything wanted the J&J. The J&J made them feel comfortable enough to get a vaccination now, rather than wait longer for more information about Pfizer and Moderna. The thing is, the J&J was actually newly going out to the general public, so it’s interesting people who were in a wait and see mode didn’t wait much at all once J&J was on the market. Now, it’s been over a month, so I don’t mean people who took the vaccine last week, but I know people who went to get J&J the first week it was available.

One difference here might be we have people who live here who were in the J&J and Moderna original trials, so it’s like we have neighbors who took the shots a long time ago. I think that makes people more comfortable. I don’t literally have a neighbor who was in the trial, but I see people in our local Facebook groups who were, and people are very trusting of each other here.

jca2's avatar

A good friend told me she specifically wanted the J&J because it had proven technology that was used for the Ebola virus. She said the Pfizer had some blood clot issues for a very small percentage of people that got it (I think the total is 150 as of now, she said today, but I googled and can’t find a link for specific numbers). She wanted the J&J, got the J&J, and now is very anxious and worried because of today’s news.

raum's avatar

Reposted from an MD.

“The risk of developing blood clots in the general public is about 0.1%.

The risk of developing clots if you are a woman on birth control is between 0.3% and 1%.

The risk of developing blood clots after a serious case of CoVID is 20–30%.

The risk of developing a clot after J and J vaccination is currently .00088% (6 clots /6800000) doses given X 100).

The pause is necessary to collect data. However, remember my FAVORITE catchphrases of CoVID-19




At this moment the risk of developing a clot by walking down the street is higher than the risk of developing a clot after vaccination.

If you have received J and J’s vaccine, don’t panic. However, if you develop any new symptoms within about 3 weeks of vaccination, let us (your doctors) know.

Again, the numbers are extremely small.”

JLeslie's avatar

@raum Yeah, I don’t understand why anyone who already got the shot is in a panic. If they got the shot it’s done. Chance of a bad side effect is extremely low. The more days that pass the lower the chances. I’d just take an extra aspirin (I take one anyway).

Although, there is some ugh factor when we have been saying for a year .8% chance of dying from covid is something we should panic about and then throwing around these other stats.

Like I said above, people suck at risk, and even people who are good at math were putting decimals in the wrong place last year, and most people aren’t good at math.

The people who got the blood clots might all have something in common, that’s the sort of thing they might find in the investigation. They all take a certain medicine or they all have a certain genetic clotting factor, etc.

raum's avatar

I’m concerned about how this will affect vaccine rollout in communities heavily impacted by covid.

I think if people have a medical history of blood clots, it makes sense to choose another vaccine. But generally speaking, the risk of blood clots is pretty low. And the risk of blood clots with covid is extremely high. The risk clearly outweighs the benefit. But I don’t know if everyone is going to read it that way. :/

J&J was incredibly important. It’s much easier to schedule one dose instead of two. And a lot of people were wary of mRNA. (I’m not.)

hello321's avatar

^ Exactly. If some of these people sense that the medical community is not being straight with them, they’ll likely bail. We’re no longer in an age when people can go to their family doctor and that is all the info they get. Unfortunately, the doctor needs to be completely honest and open with their patients. And public health policy and those tasked with messaging need to be completely transparent while emphasizing what is important. People need to be able to make informed decisions. Anyone who is informed will clearly decide to get vaccinated immediately.

JLeslie's avatar

@raum A lot of people never were worried about their risk catching covid. They either didn’t think they would catch it, or didn’t believe they would be one of the people to get very sick. Taking the vaccine is a choice to put something foreign inside of you. That’s the difference in their minds. I don’t think my husband would have gotten his shot so fast if I hadn’t set it up for him. He’s never been worried about COVID. He is more careful than me in some ways about taking precautions not to catch it, like we went on a walk a few days ago and he wore a KN95 and I didn’t wear a mask at all, but he never worried about it.

@hello321 At minimum people don’t want to be dismissed when they are concerned. I think too many people have had negative experiences with medical care and we don’t forget when it happens to us and it harms our trust significantly. Doctors and medical families are less likely to experience it.

Brian1946's avatar

I heard that if a person develops blood clots, that it’s crucial they let their doctor know that they’ve received the J&J, because the standard treatment for an unvaccinated person could be potentially fatal for one who is.

I received the Pfizer, but if I developed clots, I’d still prioritize telling my doctor that I had been vaccinated, regardless of which one.

Brian1946's avatar

I just heard that if J&J recipients develop clots, they occur within 6–13 days of being vaccinated.

YARNLADY's avatar

I just read 3 fully vaccinated people have tested positive for covid

Dutchess_III's avatar

Care to post the source @YARNLADY,?

JLeslie's avatar

Many more than 3 people.

Breakthrough cases after vaccination.

They mention the counties where I live Lake and Sumter, which has a huge percentage of older people. My guess is they never became immune like that Pfizer study I talked about regarding people over age 80 in the study 30% of participants never developed antibodies.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@raum “My comment was less about @Caravanfan and more in response to the general sentiment that it doesn’t matter which vaccine you get.”

Understood. My comment was not a response to you, and I agree with your big picture/small picture answer (which does not contain the mistake I was pointing out). The problem is that some people are treating “they all do the same job” and “they are all the same” as equivalent and then interpreting people who say the former as if they had said the latter (despite the fact that no one on this thread has endorsed the claim that “they are all the same”).

I also think that “it doesn’t matter” is ambiguous in a way that can lead people to hear the phrase differently than it is intended. In the case of this particular thread, I think the charitable interpretation is something like “while there are differences in the vaccines, and we should obviously take account of them in the few cases where they are relevant, for the most part you should not fret about which vaccine you get.”

“I have this disagreement with my sister (who is in healthcare) all the time. She says it doesn’t matter and I should stop reading the research on them.”

Sure, and I’m with you on that one. But it sounds like your sister is taking a much stronger stand than anyone here, and I was specifically responding to comments on this particular thread and the potential misunderstanding generating some of the conflict.

“I think our brains can handle both big picture and small picture here.”

Agreed. But I would also hope that our brains can handle things like interpreting people charitably and not attributing claims to people who never made them.

“The risk of developing blood clots in the general public is about 0.1%.

The risk of developing clots if you are a woman on birth control is between 0.3% and 1%.

The risk of developing blood clots after a serious case of CoVID is 20–30%.

The risk of developing a clot after J and J vaccination is currently .00088% (6 clots /6800000) doses given X 100).”

I’m sure whoever originally posted this meant well, but it is potentially misleading. These numbers only work out if they are adding all types of blood clots together, whereas the people in question have a rather specific syndrome in which a rare type of blood clot (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis aka CVST) is paired with low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)—a combination that is itself unusual.

I think the more relevant fact is that CVST is fairly easy to spot and treat so long as we are looking out for it. And indeed, the whole point of the pause is to provide time to educate people on how to diagnose and treat CVST so that those at risk of developing it (who we cannot currently distinguish in advance) can continue to take the Johnson and Johnson vaccine safely (which some might describe as making sure that it once again “doesn’t matter” which one you get, much as they might say that the 15 minute waiting periods required after getting the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines make it “not matter” if you have a severe allergic reaction to it—a phrasing I wouldn’t use, but that I try to understand as intended).

JLeslie's avatar

States can continue giving J&J during the investigation, but some (maybe all) have decided to pause. J&J shipments were severely reduced recently anyway because of manufacturing issues, and it stores well, so suspending vaccinations temporarily isn’t putting a massive dent in vaccination progress, except the people who were on the fence about getting vaccinated and decided J&J was their choice, now might change their mind and wait longer or not get vaccinated at all.

I wonder if the women who had the blood clots were on birth control or had specific genetic predisposition to blood clotting.

raum's avatar

I took it to mean that we take higher risks walking down the street or taking birth control. But I totally get what you’re saying about how those numbers could be misinterpreted.

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