For Immediate Release
March 15, 2021 —
As local health officers, we fully support all three currently available vaccines for COVID-19. All three vaccines are safe and have been shown to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic illness and hospitalization. The clinical trials for all three vaccines demonstrated that they were 100 percent effective in preventing deaths from COVID-19. There is also growing evidence that all three vaccines help prevent asymptomatic illness, too. This means that people who have been vaccinated are not likely to spread of COVID-19 to others who are not vaccinated.
There has been much debate about the advantages of one brand of vaccine over the other, but it’s difficult to compare their efficacy. The different brands of COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied in head-to-head comparisons. The vaccines have each been studied in slightly different groups of people and tested at different phases of the pandemic. The rates of community transmission and presence or absence of COVID-19 variants differed across studies.
What we can say with certainty is that all three vaccines provide levels of protection that are comparable to some of the best vaccines we have for other serious infectious diseases for which we routinely vaccinate people.
With COVID-19 continuing to circulate as we work toward community immunity, our collective medical advice is this: the best vaccine is the one you can get the soonest. The different vaccines have different storage requirements and with supplies of vaccine currently limited, the same brand may not be available at each vaccine site consistently.
If you have questions about vaccine, speak to your medical provider if you have one. You can also learn more about vaccines on the state’s COVID-19 website.
This statement has been approved by health officers representing the city of Berkeley and the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma.