Following his videos in which he explained what everybody should know about the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, pulmonary medicine and critical care specialist Dr. Mike Hansen has now done the same for the new vaccine from pharma company Johnson & Johnson, which recently completed the third phase of its clinical trials.
One of the key distinctions, he says, is that while Pfizer, Moderna and Biontech all provide M-RNA vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a recombinant vector. In other words, it takes another virus and modifies it so that it can’t cause infection in the body, but can still deliver genetic code for a portion of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Specifically, the spike protein.
“One of the huge advantages of this vaccine is that it’s a single dose,” says Hansen. “The other big advantage is that it can remain stable for two years at -2 degrees Celsius, at least three months of which can be at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.” This is significant because it means that regular refrigeration will be appropriate for storing the vaccine, which has not been the case for the M-RNA vaccines.
He goes on to cite evidence that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been found to be 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 among all participants, including those in regions at risk of viral variants, by day 28 after vaccination. It was also found to be highly effective against severe illness, with no severe cases of COVID-19 in any regions after day 49. Whether this means the vaccine is 100 percent effective against severe disease is yet to be determined, however.
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“It’s also worth noting that nobody who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was hospitalized with COVID or died within 28 days of getting the vaccine,” Hansen continues. “Being able to prevent severe disease in a high percentage of people is going to have a significant impact on alleviating the devastation from this virus.”
Additionally, instances of serious side effects from this vaccine have been rare, with more participants in the placebo group of the study reporting adverse effects than those who had been given the vaccine.
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