The Meals and Drug Administration has authorized the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which solely wants one dose and will be saved in common fridges. It’s the third COVID-19 vaccine to get sign-off from the company.
The vaccine will be administered to individuals 18 years and older. It protects against serious disease, and medical trials didn’t flag any harmful security issues. In america, it was 72 p.c efficient towards extreme and milder COVID-19. It was barely much less efficient in South Africa, the place a variant type of the coronavirus is widespread. Early information additionally urged that the shot would possibly forestall asymptomatic infections, however researchers want extra information earlier than they will say that for certain.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is logistically simpler to distribute than the Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines, which take two doses and need to be saved in specialised freezers. As a result of it solely takes one shot and doesn’t should be frozen, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be simpler to distribute to areas with out that kind of kit. Folks additionally don’t have to return again for a second appointment. New York Metropolis officers hope to make use of this vaccine for homebound seniors as a result of it might extra be simply introduced door to door.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was constructed utilizing a distinct expertise than the Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines. These two are gene-based vaccines, a method that straight delivers the genetic materials for a little bit of the coronavirus into the physique. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, inserts a piece of the coronavirus’ gene into another harmless virus. That virus, referred to as an adenovirus, delivers the coronavirus gene to cells in order that the physique can be taught to acknowledge it.
It’s hard to directly compare COVID-19 vaccines as a result of no medical trials have studied them head-to-head. The Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines have increased efficacy on paper. Scientific trials discovered that they have been round 95 p.c protecting towards symptomatic COVID-19. However these vaccines have been examined at completely different occasions and in several nations. The Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech trials have been examined within the US and different nations earlier than variants appeared. The trials additionally use completely different definitions for what counts as gentle, average, or extreme illness.
By one necessary measure, the vaccines are all fairly comparable: the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was simply pretty much as good as the opposite two at defending individuals from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.
“What you care about is hospitalizations and deaths,” stated Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown College Faculty of Public Well being, in an interview with NPR. “And Johnson & Johnson seems to be simply pretty much as good as Moderna and Pfizer at stopping these.”
Johnson & Johnson has round 4 million doses, sufficient for 4 million individuals, able to ship within the US. That’s fewer than anticipated; the corporate initially stated it might have 12 million prepared by the tip of February. Manufacturing delays undercut that plan. The corporate says it’ll nonetheless be capable of present 20 million doses to the US by the tip of March and 100 million by the tip of June.
Over 48 million individuals in america have already obtained at the least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.