On February 27, 2021, The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from Jassen Pharmaceuticals was approved by the FDA for emergency use administration. For patients over the age of 18, this single shot helps to prevent illnesses caused by the virus.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires that the recipient receives one shot, in contrast to other available vaccines. Once this single shot is administered into the patient, some side effects can arise, including “injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain.” These side effects are labeled as signals that the immune system is “kicking into gear.”
As stated in an article comparing the three vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “was shown to be 66% protective against moderate to severe COVID infections overall from 28 days after injection.”
The competing Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been successful in preventing hospitalization and case rates since December 2020, both having above a 90% effectiveness rate. As stated in an article comparing the three vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “was shown to be 66% protective against moderate to severe COVID infections overall from 28 days after injection.” However, comparing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine efficacy rate with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is tricky; the Johnson & Johnson vaccine underwent a completely different “Phase 3 clinical test,” where it was tested for contrasting results. To dive deeper, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine set on determining whether it could protect against “moderate to severe COVID illness,” while Pfizer and Moderna vaccines determined whether the individual had a symptomatic COVID infection.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does, however, have the clear upper hand in terms of storage requirements. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require below freezing temperature in order to be distributed. The Johnson & Johnson dose can be kept at room temperature (not surpassing 77 degrees Fahrenheit) unpunctured, and once the seal is broken, can be stored in either a refrigerated room for up to 6 hours or at room temperature for 2 hours. This allows for the vaccine to be administered with more convenience; it can be distributed at doctors offices, public clinics, and local pharmacies.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the newest of 3 available COVID-19 vaccines available to Americans with an FDA approval. Although this new vaccine cannot 100% guarantee the prevention of illness caused by the virus, its single shot dosage, percentage of protection, and accessibility make it a worthy contender to vaccinate the United States of America.
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