Local health authority explains difference between vaccines and number of doses

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — People across the Rio Grande Valley are getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna and Pfizer require two doses, it only takes one dose for Johnson & Johnson.

Despite studies showing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is effective with just one dose, some people have asked doctors if they should consider taking another dose just to be on the safe side.

Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo said it is unnecessary.

“There’s no need to get the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” he said.

Dr. Castillo said people might be thinking that because they hear both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have a 95 percent effectiveness compared to the Johnson & Johnson.

According to Dr. Castillo, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a lower percentage rate because it was tested during the winter in Brazil and South Africa where different variants took place.

Dr. Castillo said comparisons are only possible if all vaccines were tested at the same time and location.

For those who are still concerned about COVID-19 variants, Dr. Castillo says it is best to wait for a possible booster vaccine from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“It doesn’t exist right now but there’s plans to make one if necessary,” he said.

Dr. Castillo said the booster vaccine will be targeted to certain variants.

Other than looking forward to a booster vaccine, Dr. Castillo encourages those who are fully vaccinated to not get vaccinated again.

By doing so, he said it will take the opportunity for someone to get vaccinated who has not had the chance to do so.

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