However, there has been concern that because the public has heard that the injection is only 72% protection in the US, and that the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have 95% protection, some will think that this is a “second class” vaccine. Experts say those numbers are highly misleading and urge people to take the first chance they get.
Florida’s four FEMA-backed vaccination sites – in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami – now allow people to choose between J&J and Pfizer, according to Jason Mahon, director of communications for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
“Giving them the option was important,” Mahon told CNN.
Those at the Miami-Dade College vaccination site Wednesday pondered their options before deciding which injection they wanted administered.
Lolita White told CNN that she is “afraid of needles” and therefore “can only do this once.”
“It was liberating,” she said of getting the J&J vaccine. “But it was very scary at the same time because … I’m definitely afraid of needles. The people there were very supportive. The guy who gave me the injection … said don’t be afraid.”
Despite J & J’s lower efficacy, White said she was comforted to learn that J & J’s research included protection against new variants of the Covid-19 virus.
Guillermo Muñoz said he is confident that all vaccines are effective, but he also preferred to receive the J&J vaccine because it required a dose.
“I want to make sure I’m protected and I want to make sure that, you know, we protect others,” Muñoz told CNN. “The faster we achieve herd immunity, the faster we will be able to return to as normal a life as possible.”
Others said they prefer Pfizer, citing various reasons, including that it has been around longer.
“I just don’t know much about it (the J&J vaccine), so I prefer to go with something that is well known,” Rocío Méndez told CNN.
Ruth Watkins also opted for Pfizer; He said he believes in the company so much that he decided to invest in it.
“I don’t choose to buy Johnson & Johnson products and I haven’t for a long time,” Watkins told CNN. “And Pfizer was just a good choice.”
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, urged Americans to take any of the three “highly effective” coronavirus vaccines now available to them and not delay applying one vaccine over another.
“We want to vaccinate as many people as quickly and expeditiously as possible.”
Patricia Gibbs, who received the booster shot from Pfizer on Wednesday, echoed Fauci’s view.
“We all need to get this vaccine to protect everyone,” Gibbs said.
CNN’s Pete Muntean, Greg Wallace, Maggie Fox, Chandelis Duster, and Jen Christensen contributed to this report.