Photo used with permission from Wiki Commons
The Coronavirus pandemic has lasted for over a year now, claiming over 500,000 American lives. From the beginning, scientists began studying the virus and experimenting to find a vaccine. When the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were approved by the FDA in December, it led to hope that the general population would become vaccinated. In recent weeks, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has also been approved by the FDA, leading to hope that the pandemic is under control.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine differs from the other two vaccines in that it only requires a single dose, while the other two vaccines require two doses. According to NBC News, “The Johnson and Johnson Vaccine is relatively low maintenance. It can be kept in regular refrigerators.” On the other hand, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have to be kept in colder refrigerators and shots must be administered three to four weeks apart.
One student expressed confidence in the vaccine. “I definitely believe that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be effective since there have been months of clinical trials in order to finalize it, plus the vaccine is a single dose so it should be highly effective,” junior Dylan Safai said.
This sentiment of confidence in the vaccine is shared by another student. “Given the success of the other two vaccines that were also FDA approved, I believe that the vaccine will be very successful in curbing COVID-19 cases,” junior Siddarth Kondam said.
Other students were excited for the vaccine because of its easier distribution process. “From what I’ve heard about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, it sounds like it will be easier to distribute and people will be able to get fully vaccinated after one shot,” senior Maya Saidel said.
However, not everyone has been eager to acquire the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. According to CNN, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said, “Johnson and Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best.” Duggan may have drawn these conclusions in response to clinical trials that showed the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was 72 percent effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 cases, compared to 95 percent for Pfizer and Moderna.
On the state level, Maryland is expected to get shipments of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. According to the Baltimore Sun, Governor Larry Hogan said, “Maryland will allocate nearly 50,000 doses of the newly authorized, single dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week to vaccine providers.”
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is also being used to reach more impoverished people because it is low maintenance. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, “It would improve access to the vaccine for poorer residents who lack the time and resources to travel to a mass vaccination site or popup clinic.”
Overall, while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may not have gotten the best numbers in clinical trials compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it is still an effective vaccine against moderate to severe Covid cases and has been proven to severely limit the risk of severe hospitalizations or death.