State health leaders urge Oklahomans to not be concerned about different types of vaccines


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Local doctors and epidemiologists are sending a message to Oklahomans: all three COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA are safe and effective.

This comes amid concerns that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be less effective than the other two available.

“I don’t know that there’s a huge advantage to one or the other. I’m still encouraging people – if you get the opportunity to get a vaccine – get in line and get the vaccine,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, Chief COVID-19 Officer at the University of Oklahoma.

Epidemiologists say people are getting too caught up in the efficacy rates of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines – as those rates came from controlled trials.

“So even when that number is ballooned and it’s around 90% or higher with the other two vaccines – that’s not to suggest how effective it’s going to be in the general population,” said Eddie Withers, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. 

It’s hard to compare the three.

The Johnson & Johnson uses a different vector – converting DNA to RNA.

Additionally, J&J underwent an international study at a later date.

“So this was a time when some of those variants of concern were out there and so that may have impacted the efficacy a little bit,” said Dr. George Monks, President of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. 

“In the United States, where it was tested, was about 72% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection,” Bratzler said. “However, it was 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death.”

All experts – agreeing that all three vaccines seem effective in preventing those consequences – and remaining optimistic that we will have enough for every adult by the end of May – as stated by President Biden.

“I can tell you on the ground floor – I’m seeing it. I see the daily increase in our vaccines that are available to us and not to mention with J&J coming on board – I think it’s just a matter of time before it’s available to anyone who wants it,” Withers said. 

Bratzler says it’s possible that we may have a booster shot option for the J&J vaccine later on down the road.

He also says a fourth vaccine – Novavax – appears to be nearing FDA review.

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Latest News

More News

KFOR Digital Originals

More Digital Original


Follow @KFOR on Twitter

Border Report

More Border Report