SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer received an emergency use authorization by the FDA just a few weeks ago. Now, Johnson & Johnson is asking to do the same. The company put in the request yesterday.
If approved, the COVID-19 vaccine would not only help with supply demand, but it also comes with other benefits expected to help get more shots in arms.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine could be a gamechanger according to some medical professionals. Not only is storage easier, but it’s also a one shot vaccine.
“All the planning and logistics around getting folks back in for a second shot, and in some cases, reserving vaccine to have it available for that second dose are not an issue with this vaccine,” Memorial Health’s Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. Stephen Thacker said.
Johnson & Johnson’s initial data shows their vaccine is about 72 percent effective in the US but 85 percent effective against severe disease. Though the previous two vaccines granted Emergency Use Authorization use MRNA, this one is different.
“What we’re doing is kind of a sheep in wolfs clothing type of approach where you get a harmless virus that looks on the surface like it’s COVID-19, so the body sees it and responds and makes a protective antibody response against it without us becoming infected or harmed by the adenovirus or COVID-19,” Dr. Thacker said.
Despite the differences of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Thacker says it’s still important that you sign up to not only protect yourself, but the community.
“I would say that when this vaccine is available, and it’s been proven to be safe for this next stage of availability to us that if you have the opportunity to get any COVID-19 vaccine you should pursue it. Even with a slight decrease in the amount of protection against severe COVID-19, this vaccine will do a tremendous amount of good of keeping people out of the hospital and saving lives. And really as many people who can get into that boat of being protected against poor outcomes and spreading this infection, the quicker we can get to the other side of what our new normal will be,” Dr. Thacker said.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine still needs to be reviewed by the FDA and CDC before it can be distributed.