That Was Quick!
Looping Back

Love the One You're With

Yesterday, here in Michigan, they announced that beginning this week people in the 50-64 age group will be able to sign up to play . . . Vaccine Lottery! (Beginning with those with medical need first, and then by mid-month the rest of us in the 50+ range will be able to sign up.)

It's exciting news, to be sure.
But my first thought was . . . I bet it will be the J&J vaccine we get. And I'd rather have one of "the good ones."

Oh, Kym! 
Not the right attitude.
Flawed logic and bad assumptions on my part.


(This would be an ideal spot to insert a photo of, oh . . . say me, getting the vaccine. But since that hasn't happened yet, here! Take a look at my new mini-orchid instead.)

Lucky for me, the New York Times addressed this very issue in The Morning (their daily e-newsletter). Since it's Thursday, I thought I'd share three pieces of information I gleaned from the information I read this morning . . . regarding the vaccines and J&J's entry into the arena. (Because I kinda bet I'm not the only one feeling like they may have to "settle for" the J&J vaccine.)

First of all, here is the basis for all the "brand hesitancy" regarding the three vaccines (and this is directly copied from the The Morning e-newsletter today, links included).

"The perception stems from the headline rates of effectiveness of the three vaccines: 72 percent for Johnson & Johnson, compared with 94 percent for Moderna and 95 percent for Pfizer. But those headline rates can be misleading in a few ways. The most important measure — whether the vaccine prevents serious illness — shows the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be equally effective as the other two. All work for nearly 100 percent of people. The picture is murkier for mild cases, but they are not particularly worrisome."  --- The Morning, March 4, 2021

Okay. So all of us know that 94% and 95% beat 72%. That explains why we might prefer the Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations. But . . . let's dig further:

  1. Those "headline percentages" (94%, 95%, 72%) describe the vaccines effectiveness at preventing ALL infections from the Covid virus. But preventing ALL infections isn't really as important as it sounds. WHAAAAT??? you say. According to The Morning, "The world is not going to eliminate SARS-Cov-2 anytime soon. Coronaviruses circulate all the time, causing the common cold and other manageable illnesses. The trouble with this virus is its lethality. It has killed 15 times as many Americans as an average flu season. Turning Covid into something more like a mild flu or common cold means victory over the pandemic."
  2. So the real goal of the vaccines here . . . is to keep Covid manageable. Like the way colds or the garden-variety flu are manageable for us. And all three approved vaccines do just that! Again, according to The Morning, "all three vaccines being used in the U.S. are accomplishing that goal. In the research trials, none of the people who received a vaccine died of Covid. And after the vaccines had taken full effect, none were hospitalized, either." So, with any of the vaccines, we may still get Covid. But it will only be a mild case; something we can manage and - most importantly - survive.
  3. So why isn't the J&J vaccine as effective as the other two? There are a few theories. One is that they were performing the clinical trials AFTER the more transmissible variants had emerged in the population. (Neither Moderna's nor Pfizer's vaccines were tested against the variants.) Another possibility is that the J&J vaccine only requires one dose. (Maybe a second dose would give even higher results; they didn't test that.) But . . . look to the UK, where they decided to only give everyone one dose of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines: the numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths there are all dropping drastically. Basically, after ANY of the 3 approved vaccines, you have very little chance of dying from Covid. And that, according to The Morning, is "breathtaking."

Bottom line: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the just-as-good!

All three vaccines are WONDERS!
Any of them will keep you from serious illness or death from Covid.

When it's your turn to grab a vaccine, listen to Stephen Stills . . . and love the one you're with!


For more Three on Thursday posts, be sure to head over to Carole's today.





Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I went yesterday for an "end of day" vaccine (you just show up and if you're lucky you get a left over after all the appointment doses have been administered) and I have got to say IT WAS THE BEST DAY EVER. And I would have loved anyone I was with!


I was initially a little dismissive of the J&J vaccine, but after I read the data and found the equally high percentage effectiveness against severe disease and the fact that there were no deaths or hospitalizations in those who received the J&J vaccine during the clinical trial, I will gladly get jabbed with whatever I can get. I'm currently on three waiting lists so maybe it will happen soon!


As Dr. Fauci said recently: take the vaccine you are offered! I kind of like the idea of one shot instead of two, frankly. And I read the same piece you did and think it provides great information.


I got my first dose of Pfizer vaccine last week. I don't think I've ever seen a happier crowd of people -- and even though I'm not a fan of crowds, I was elated to be a part of it!


Yup - I'll be happy to get ANY vaccine I can. We have been registered for weeks, but no movement for us here in PA. Registered with the County and unable to register anywhere else (screens keep freezing and locking us out). And, I'm in my late 60's and Fletch is in his 70's!!


The wife of one of my co-workers (a teacher) is getting the J&J vaccine, which is the one she PREFERS, because she's not good with needles.

(And Rusty got his first jab yesterday!)

kim in oregon

I will welcome any vaccine into my arm!


Since I am in that age group too, I can't wait until PA allows us to play "Vaccine Lottery"! I think the J&J vaccine will be just as effective as the other 2. It was tested under different conditions and no one who got the vaccine died.


NPR had a great piece on this as well this morning. I am with you... what vaccine I get will be the PERFECT one! (and that orchid... so cute!)


catching up! (and whoa, I didn't realize how far behind I was ... Ferda is a GIRL! for example!) I forwarded that same NYT article to my sister this morning - with these two points 1) a vaccine TODAY is way better than waiting; and 2) the J&J tests were perhaps harder than the other two because they happened later. bottom line, we're gonna take the first one we're offered. and hopefully that will be soon (and sorry to see Georgia in LAST place in that regard. ugh!)


I'm still a ways off from being eligible, but I will happily take whatever vaccine is available to me first. I get a flu shot every year, and even in good years, the flu vaccine is often only something like 30-odd% effective. The more people there are who get a vaccine, any vaccine, the better off we'll all be.

Best of luck in the lottery!


And don't forget the comparison with the effectiveness of flu vaccines:

"CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the influenza (flu) vaccine protects against flu illness. While vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. " from

Given those numbers, all three Covid vaccines are approaching miracle status IMHO.


I got Moderna. I love Moderna! LOL (Second shot on the 16th.)


I got my first shot on Tuesday, the Pfizer vaccine, at a clinic/hospital an hour away. Smokey got his first shot a couple weeks ago at a VA clinic 2 hours away. Our county is not doing a particularly good job of getting people vaccinated. I signed us up with them nearly a month ago and have still not received any confirmation. It is entirely possible that we will both be fully vaccinated before the county calls to schedule an appointment.

The comments to this entry are closed.