LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, doctors said there's no reason for worry about its differences from other vaccines.
UofL Health Dr. Jason Smith said the Johnson & Johnson shot does vary from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the way it's introduced to the body, how it's stored and how many doses are required. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine uses a viral vector method called Ad26. It pulls proteins from the coronavirus and injects that into an adenovirus. It's a modified virus that's introduced into cells to help fight off serious illness in death.
On the other hand, Pfizer and Moderna both use messenger RNA, which is produced in a lab and introduced to our cells to fight against the virus.
However, much of the public's concern is around the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson's dose. Pfizer and Moderna are both around 95% effective following the second dose of the shot, while Johnson & Johnson is 72% effective in the U.S.
It shouldn't scare you off, doctors said. The traditional flu shot is only about 40% effective each year, and it saves millions of lives during flu season.
"There's no concern around the efficacy," Smith said.
Doctors said all three of the approved vaccines are some of the most highly effective vaccines ever produced.
Johnson & Johnson is also different in the way it's administered. Instead of two doses that are required by Pfizer and Moderna, the newly approved shot only requires one dose.
It also is easier to transport and store.
Johnson & Johnson vaccines can be stored at regular refrigeration temperatures when, in contrast, Pfizer and Moderna are required to be stored and transported in temperatures between -15 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
While there are several key differences, medical professionals said all three are completely safe.
“I have no problem using this," Smith said. "I would have no problem giving this to my family member versus Pfizer, versus Moderna.”
Additionally, doctors advise the public to get the first available dose. They said not to wait for one or avoid another.
"Get the first one that you’re available and can get and not to try and wait, because I don’t think you’re going to see that lax of a vaccine supply anytime in the near future where you’re going to pick and choose which one you get,” Smith said.
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