America has three vaccines approved for distribution, and now people are getting choosy about which they want.
All three have been shown to be effective at preventing Covid-19 disease and, crucially, hospital admissions and death – and health officials have said the best vaccine is the one you’re offered.
Still, there appears to be a preference growing for the Pfizer and Modern jabs over the Johnson & Johnson option.
In early March, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan rejected the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for city residents, suggesting that the other two jabs available in the US were superior.
“I am going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of the City of Detroit get the best,” he said in a press conference.
After widespread outcry from the public health community, the mayor did an about-face, saying he had “full confidence” that the jab was safe and effective.
But like Mr Duggan, some Americans have also shown concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and its overall efficacy rates – even though health officials have cautioned those numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Some say they’d rather delay their vaccination than take Johnson & Johnson at all, potentially throwing a wrench into the distribution plans of community health officials.
“I had an appointment for a vaccine this week, and I cancelled it because I heard they were giving out Johnson & Johnson. I’m not taking [that vaccine] at all,” one Washington DC resident told the BBC.
Now, health officials like Dr Michele Andrasik are trying to reassure Americans that any authorised vaccine offered to them is a good one to take.
“On one hand, people are excited that there’s just one shot [for Johnson & Johnson], and on the other, there’s a lot of confusion with regard to what the efficacy results actually say and does this mean it’s not as good,” Dr Andrasik, senior staff scientist for the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch, told the BBC.