When could more people become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Can you choose which vaccine you take?
Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 17:22:17-05

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — As supply of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to increase, when will New York open Phase 1C eligibility? Who will be included?

"It's really going to depend on supply and how well we're doing with vaccinating groups 1A and 1B. I'm hoping that we're going to completely open things up sometime either in late April or May," Dr. Thomas Russo, Professor and Chief of Infectious Disease at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, said.

"I think by the end of the summer, I believe if the President is right that we have enough vaccine for everybody, we'll have it dispensed because we're really good at dispensing it," Dr. Nancy Nielsen, the lead for the Western New York Vaccination Planning Team and Associate Dean for Health Policy at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, said.

New York State has not announced who will be included in Phase 1C of vaccine eligibility.

Once you are eligible to take the vaccine, could you eventually to take Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson?

"I think we might get to that point. Likely that's not going to occur until the latter part of April or into May or June. As supply increases, that may become a possibility," Dr. Russo said.

For now, Dr. Russo said to take whatever vaccine you can get as soon as you can get it.

"All of these look great. They're all quite similar in protecting against hospitalizations and bad outcomes which is obviously the most critical factor. However, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine presently has one small advantage over Pfizer and Moderna RNA vaccines in that it's one shot and you're done," Dr. Russo said.

But when it comes to efficacy numbers, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine sits at about 72%, while Moderna and Pfizer hit closer to 95%. Dr. Nielsen said comparing the vaccine's efficacy is like comparing apples and oranges.

"The reason is the other two vaccines were studied in their clinical trials earlier when there weren't these variants that we're so terribly worried about, the UK variant and particularly the South African variant. We don't know how Moderna and Pfzier would fair, what their efficacy would be if they had been studied at the same time," Dr. Nielsen said.