The Meals and Drug Administration has authorized the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which solely wants one dose and may be saved in common fridges. It’s the third COVID-19 vaccine to get sign-off from the company.

The vaccine may be administered to individuals 18 years and older. It protects against serious disease, and scientific trials didn’t flag any harmful security issues. In the US, it was 72 % efficient towards extreme and milder COVID-19. It was barely much less efficient in South Africa, the place a variant type of the coronavirus is widespread. Early information additionally prompt that the shot would possibly stop asymptomatic infections, however researchers want extra information earlier than they will say that for positive.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is logistically simpler to distribute than the Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines, which take two doses and must be saved in specialised freezers. As a result of it solely takes one shot and doesn’t should be frozen, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be simpler to distribute to areas with out that sort of apparatus. Individuals additionally don’t have to come back again for a second appointment. New York Metropolis officers hope to make use of this vaccine for homebound seniors as a result of it might probably extra be simply introduced door to door.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was constructed utilizing a unique know-how than the Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines. These two are gene-based vaccines, a method that instantly delivers the genetic materials for a little bit of the coronavirus into the physique. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, alternatively, inserts a bit of the coronavirus’ gene into another harmless virus. That virus, known as an adenovirus, delivers the coronavirus gene to cells in order that the physique can study to acknowledge it.

It’s hard to directly compare COVID-19 vaccines as a result of no scientific trials have studied them head-to-head. The Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines have larger efficacy on paper. Scientific trials discovered that they have been round 95 % protecting towards symptomatic COVID-19. However these vaccines have been examined at totally different instances and in numerous nations. The Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech trials have been examined within the US and different nations earlier than variants appeared. The trials additionally use totally different definitions for what counts as delicate, average, or extreme illness.

By one essential measure, the vaccines are all fairly comparable: the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was simply nearly as good as the opposite two at defending individuals from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

“What you care about is hospitalizations and deaths,” mentioned Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown College Faculty of Public Well being, in an interview with NPR. “And Johnson & Johnson appears to be just as good as Moderna and Pfizer at preventing those.”

Johnson & Johnson has round four million doses, sufficient for four million individuals, able to ship within the US. That’s fewer than anticipated; the corporate initially mentioned it might have 12 million prepared by the top of February. Manufacturing delays undercut that plan. The corporate says it’ll nonetheless have the ability to present 20 million doses to the US by the top of March and 100 million by the top of June.

Over 48 million individuals in the US have already obtained no less than one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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