The only way to accurately compare the effectiveness of medical products, such as vaccines or drugs, is by direct comparison in head-to-head clinical trials, which did not happen for these vaccines. The CDC recommends the Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for the primary vaccination series.
For booster vaccination, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have each created an updated booster dose designed to protect against original strains of the virus, as well as Omicron variants that cause most new infections. The CDC recommends people 5 and older receive an age-appropriate, updated mRNA booster dose if at least 2 months have passed since their primary series or since their most recent booster dose. Updated boosters of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna contain a bivalent formula that both boosts immunity against the original coronavirus strain and also protects against the newer Omicron variants.
The monovalent Novavax booster is authorized for people 18 and older in limited situations. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for people 18 and older if no other approved vaccine is available because of the risk of a rare but serious blood clotting disorder. CDC said that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated, and the public will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. If you would like to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. please discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider or the healthcare professional at your vaccination site.
All of the COVID-19 vaccines that the U.S. FDA has authorized were proven safe and effective and continue to undergo extensive safety monitoring. The available COVID-19 vaccines help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. CDC continues to recommend everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.