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VERIFY: Should you wait to be vaccinated until you can get your shot of choice? Experts say, no

Dr. Ali Hassoun says, “It’s really now that we need to get vaccinations and now that we need to get as much as possible. We cannot be waiting two or four weeks…"

HUNTSVILLE, Ala — Doctor Fauci is urging the public to take whichever COVID-19 vaccine is available. Don't wait to get one type over another. Our team spoke with some experts to hear what they have to say on this topic.

THE QUESTION

Is it okay to wait to be vaccinated until you have access to your preferred type of vaccine? 

THE ANSWER

Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer with the Alabama Department of Public Health, says, “I absolutely say to people, ‘Get the product that’s available to you’. Because, the hospitalizations, death, and severe illness data really for all three vaccines appears to be comparable.”

As COVID-19 variants spread at a faster rate throughout the country, Dr. Hassoun says vaccines are the answer-- no matter which one you take.

Dr. Ali Hassoun, an Infectious Disease Expert with Huntsville Hospital, says, “It’s really now that we need to get vaccinations and now that we need to get as much as possible. We cannot be waiting two or four weeks… What’s important is, the majority of what we have is showing that between all these vaccines, they reduce hospitalizations, reduce death and reduce moderate disease. That’s across the board. And that’s what’s really important for all of us.”  

WHAT WE FOUND

With news swirling around the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and updates coming in on shots that have already been approved, people are starting to pick and choose which form of the vaccine they want to get. Some people are even holding off on getting vaccinated until they can get the shot they prefer. Experts say, that’s not what they advise you to do.

Dr. Ali Hassoun says, “What’s important currently is getting people vaccinated as much as we can, as soon as we can.” 

As COVID-19 variants spread at a faster rate throughout the country, Dr. Hassoun says vaccines are the answer-- no matter which one you take.

Dr. Hassoun explains, “The concern is there’s going to be more and more mutation happening in the virus if we continue to have the virus circulating.” 

We checked in with the Alabama Department of Public Health to get their take. Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer with ADPH says, “I absolutely say to people, ‘Get the product that’s available to you’. Because, the hospitalizations, death, and severe illness data really for all three vaccines appears to be comparable.” 

Dr. Hassoun says there are really only a few cases where someone might need to take one particular vaccine over another. He tells our reporter, “If they have issues of allergies-- and what kind of allergies? for example-- It’s a good idea to discuss it with their primary care physician if it interferes. But, I don’t think there are major differences that you need to pick this one over the other at the moment.” 

The FDA is expected to grant Emergency Use Authorization to the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine soon. Dr. Hassoun says although one dose may seem more convenient for some, waiting to be vaccinated until you have a chance to get the Johnson and Johnson shot is not advised. He says, “Even with one dose of Pfizer and Moderna, there’s benefit there. So, waiting for ‘J&J’-- I don’t think that’s going to make much of a difference from an efficacy point of view.” 

Dr. Hassoun says whenever you’re offered the vaccine, take it. He adds, “It’s really now that we need to get vaccinations and now that we need to get as much as possible. We cannot be waiting two or four weeks… What’s important is, the majority of what we have is showing that between all these vaccines, they reduce hospitalizations, reduce death and reduce moderate disease. That’s across the board. And that’s what’s really important for all of us.” 

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