The White House COVID-19 response team said Friday that all coronavirus vaccines currently available were safe and effective and urged Americans to take whichever one they had access to, after the mayor of Detroit reportedly declined an allocation of the Johnson & Johnson drug.
At a news briefing Thursday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he was declining a shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, adding that while it was a very good vaccine, he felt the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were better and he wanted to get the people of Detroit “the best.”
At a virtual news briefing Friday, coronavirus special adviser Andy Slavitt said that the White House reached out to the mayor and that there had been a misunderstanding. It was not Duggan’s intent to refuse the vaccine, said Slavitt, adding, “In fact, he is very eager for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”
National Institutes of Health infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci again said that all three approved vaccines were “extraordinarily” effective in preventing severe disease and death. He advised taking the first available vaccine because the important thing is to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the agency hoped to release its official guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated. She said she understood people were eager to know what they could and couldn’t do, but that the centers wanted to make sure to get the advice right.
The CDC guidelines would address a myriad of questions regarding approved activities, such as wearing a mask, flying on an airplane, or patronizing a bar or restaurant.
More than 54 million people in the U.S. have received at least one shot; more than 27 million Americans are fully vaccinated.