Johnson and Johnson is ready to ship 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson gets emergency use authorization from the FDA for COVID-19 vaccination
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has authorized use of the J & J COVID-19 vaccine. The single dose could be ready to ship throughout the country this week. The company says it has about four million doses ready to go and they should have another 20 million at the end of March. With losing over 500K Americans to COVID-19, another vaccine will be well-received.
The vaccine is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of J & J and has proven to be safe, effective, and flexible. The single dose vaccine doesn’t require special storage and is proven to be 72% effective overall in the U.S. against COVID-19 and 85% effective against severe forms of the virus.
The vaccine was tested in more than 44,000 people ages 18 and older in the U.S., South Africa, and Latin America. In all three countries, the effectiveness of the vaccine was 66.1% after four weeks of vaccination.
There are side effects to the vaccine. Most are mild including pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue and muscle pain. There were few reported cases of serious adverse events, according to the FDA, and no reported cases of anaphylaxis at the conclusion of the trial.
There was further research gathered that showed the vaccine may help prevent asymptomatic infections. A study conducted by the CDC showed most cases of COVID-19 were spread through contact with asymptomatic carriers. If there's an opportunity to squash the transmission of the disease through this group, there’s even more to cheer about.
“I think it’s a relatively easy call. It clearly gets way over the bar, and it’s nice to have a single-dose vaccine,” said Dr. Rubin, a member of the committee and chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. There’s so much positive data.
There will be some hurdles to climb based on public perception. The two previously approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have data showing a 95% effectiveness against serious COVID-19 complications/hospitalizations. J & J has touted a 72% effectiveness. Experts say the numbers are misleading and that J & J’s COVID-19 vaccine has very positive outcomes.
One of the distinct differences in the numerical data is based on the fact that studies for Moderna and Pfizer took place before other variants of the disease were introduced into various populations. FDA research found that the majority of the cases that happened during the South African part of the J & J trail came from a newer and possibly more contagious variant.
All are encouraged to take whatever vaccine is available. All three vaccines have proven effectiveness against serious COVID-19 complications. As the variants continue to infect sectors of the population, it’s important to get vaccinated.