Yesterday, the state announced that the P.1 variant, which originated in Brazil, has been detected in Vermont and is spreading in Massachusetts. Like two other variants detected in Vermont recently, scientists believe P.1 may be up to twice as transmissible as previous strains of the virus.
While P.1 contains a mutation that may limit immunity, scientists still believe vaccines are effective against the new strain. Early lab results suggested last month that Pfizer’s vaccine protects against each of the variants, but may be less effective against earlier strains of Covid.
As the state races to vaccinate Vermonters before the variants take hold, one question we keep hearing our readers ask is whether it is possible and/or advisable to choose which vaccine you receive.
We put this question to the experts. The short answer is that, except for in very rare circumstances, you should not "shop" around for different types of vaccines. Health officials have reiterated that the best vaccine is the one that is available to you.
But all three vaccines, including Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson, have been proven to be effective at preventing hospitalization and death, while vaccine shopping threatens to slow the overall pace of vaccinations and thus, delay reopening plans.
VTDigger has answered this question and so many more through our Covid explainers, like ‘How to Sign up for the Covid Vaccine,’ live FAQ events with experts, our searchable Covid FAQ database and daily coverage.
For more than a year now, VTDigger’s editors and reporters have prioritized Covid-19 coverage, answering Vermonters’ urgent questions about the virus and safety measures. This year, local news quite literally saved lives.
Every day we publish information that Vermonters use to make important healthcare decisions. Please help us continue this critical work.