Why The Johnson Johnson Vaccine Is A Game Changer
A new analysis by the Food and Drug Administration confirms that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine offers strong protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19. The determination and confirmation will likely pave the way for the emergency permit approval this week.
Why is FDA approval important?
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That vote of confidence could have a positive impact on the country's vaccination distribution plan, slowing transmission rates, hospital stays and possibly lowering the death toll, which resulted in a dismal and astounding loss of 500,000 Americans as of Monday.
The FDA could approve the vaccine as early as Saturday, pending a vote on Friday, and a limited supply of Johnson & Johnson's new COVID-19 vaccine could start rolling out as early as next week, according to The New York Times. The latest analysis found the vaccine to be 72% effective in the US overall and 64% in South Africa. Crucially, it is 86% effective in preventing serious illness in the US and 82% in South Africa.
William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University, said, "The availability of the J&J vaccine will be a huge asset," adding, "That could help us overcome the bottleneck we are currently in. " according to the Wall Street Journal.
How is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine different from that of Moderna and Pfizer?
Johnson & Johnson is different from the other two vaccines currently available in the US - Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna - both of which have higher rates of effectiveness. Unlike these two products, Johnson & Johnson only needs a single dose and can be stored for over three months at normal refrigeration temperatures. This would make distribution easier as the hurdle in cold storage is not as great a problem for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
And while there seems to be a big difference between 72% effectiveness and over 90% effectiveness, 72% effectiveness is still quite effective. Someone receiving the J&J vaccine has their personal risk of COVID-19 dropping a whopping 72% in a single burst quickly after vaccination. Related to this, the 2020 influenza vaccine was only 45 percent effective, which is still considered to be pretty good. These vaccines are strong and powerful.
The analysis also found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had "milder" side effects than Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, according to the New York Times, and there were no reports of allergic reactions when ingested.
Here's what's next for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
By the end of the month, four million doses could be ready to ship by Saturday's FDA approval, which at this point seems only a matter of time.
Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said, "With a J&J vaccine, we can accelerate the adoption of vaccines for our country and for the world," according to the New York Times. And while extra bursts is good news, four million cans is well below the twelve million Johnson & Johnson originally promised for February.
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The post Why the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine is a Game Changer first appeared on Fatherly.
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