Q&A – What Each Of The Vaccines Do And Don't Do For You

Today’s entry: Did I hear you say that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines help prevent getting Covid-19 or did I misunderstand?

Bottom Line: You heard me correctly and you raise an important point regarding the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contrasted with the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine. What they’re capable of doing and the differences between them.

First, let’s reset by talking about what all vaccines are designed to do. First priority, prevention. Second, minimizing or eliminating severe effects if contracted. Vaccines work by subjecting you to a small sample of the contagion for the purpose of your body successfully fighting it, producing antibodies in the process which stay with you and are ready to successfully attack the contagion should you come across it again, preventing you from becoming infected.

The secondary function of vaccines is to minimize the effects of a contagion. In the event you become infected after receiving a vaccine, the hope and expectation is that the antibodies are effective at warding off the worst effects of the contagion by giving your immune system a better basis for fighting the virus once it’s contracted. This is why for example, even with the flu vaccine averaging only around 45% efficacy, the medical establishment says everyone should get one annually. Even if it fails to prevent infections more often than not, it’s still in theory, helpful in minimizing the effects.

Now let’s take a look the differences between the three vaccines. Johnson & Johnson has 66% effective at prevention, 85% at preventing severe effects, and 100% at preventing death. Moderna has 94% effective at prevention and essentially 100% at preventing severe effects/deaths. Finally, Pfizer has 95% effective at prevention and essentially 100% at preventing severe effects/deaths.

Of course, the other big difference is the single dose schedule for the J&J compared to the two-dose schedule required for that level of efficacy for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.


Parler & Twitter:@brianmuddradio

Photo by: ARIANA DREHSLER/AFP via Getty Images

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