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Four Things to Know About the New Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally released the clinical trials of the much-awaited Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, calling it effective and extremely safe for all users. This vaccine is all set to get approval from the agency for emergency authorization within a few days. But in the presence of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, would this new vaccine establish its place?

Here are four important things to know about the new Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.

This new Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is based on a viral vector obtained from an attenuated adenovirus. This adenovirus was modified with some genetic material obtained from SARS-CoV-2. Once this vaccine is injected into a patient, the body reads the complete genetic instructions that are needed to form the coronavirus spike proteins. The body starts producing antibodies immediately, to protect the body, without exposing to the virus in the first place.

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Using an adenovirus is completely safe because these viruses are unable to replicate inside host bodies, plus the selective genetic material from coronavirus is not enough to allow its replication inside the body, thus inducing an infection. However, this is not a new approach, as it was also previously followed for creating the Ebola vaccine. Also, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is also based on the same adenovirus vector principle.

According to the FDA’s report, the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is up to 72% effective to protect from infection and nearly 86% effective against severe complications of the infection. Although most people never get an infection after receiving the vaccine, yet there is a minor chance of this happening. Still, these patients wouldn’t require hospitalization, intensive medical care, or lose their life because of the Covid-19 if infected through the vaccine.

In the presence of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine for Covid-19 carries its special place as both other vaccines are mRNA vaccines. These mRNA vaccines are based on the coronavirus itself, and not any other virus used as a vector. Also, there are some practical differences among all these vaccines too.

These mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna need two shots but Johnson & Johnson vaccine only need one dose. Additionally, it doesn’t require strict storage and transportation conditions while mRNA vaccines require a very low temperature for their distribution and supply.

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The choice between all these available options is just a personal preference. Although the previously approved vaccines have turned out more efficient as compared to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, waiting to get a vaccine of your choice may not be a sound idea. No matter which vaccine you get, receiving the Covid-19 vaccine reduces the risks of preventing deadly disease.

In those areas where Pfizer and Moderna may not be available or can’t be transmitted, Johnson & Johnson vaccine can help. Plus its single-dose approach makes it easy to vaccinate more people in less time.

The world requires faster vaccinations to finally put an end to this pandemic. The role of these vaccines against the newly identified coronavirus variants is still under research but getting the vaccine will still help to lower the risk of Covid-19. It is expected that Johnson & Johnson will get FDA’s approval soon, while the company is ready to deliver four million doses right after it gets approval.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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