The Covid vaccine made by Johnson and Johnson is showing strong protection against severe disease and death from Covid-19 according to results released by the company and the FDA.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine should receive FDA approval shortly and distribution could begin in a few days. This vaccine is just a single shot, allowing many more people to be vaccinated, as the Pfizer and Moderna one both require two injections. Another advantage of this vaccine is that it can be kept at refrigeration temperatures for 3 months and not require freezing compared to the other two vaccines.
The overall efficacy was lower at 72-76%, compared to 95% for Pfizer and Moderna.
A number of possible allergic issues came up with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, but according to testimony to the FDA there were two reports of anaphylaxis — a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction immediately after receiving the J&J shot from their trials. One of them was a trial participant in South Africa, the details of the second person were not given. There had not been any previously reported cases of anaphylaxis. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested in an international study of about 40,000 people, half of whom got the vaccine and half of whom got a placebo.
In the Johnson and Johnson Covid vaccine vial is the gene for the coronavirus spike protein inside another inactivated virus called Adenovirus 26. This is a modified virus that can enter cells but can’t replicate inside them or cause illness. The other ingredients in the J&J Covid vaccine are:
Citric Acid Monohydrate, Trisodium Citrate Didydrate, Ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-Beta-cyclodextrin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrochloride Acid and Polysorbate 80.
These are salts, buffers and sugar to stabilize the solution and ensure its at a safe pH.
Some cases of anaphylaxis were reported in people who received either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s shot, though researchers say it occurred within the range of those reported for the influenza vaccine, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Common side effects seen were injection site pain (50%), headache and fatigue (40%), muscle pain (33%), nausea (14%), fever (10%). Most symptoms resolved in a couple of days.
It is not clear how long the vaccine’s protection will last before it wanes, which is for all the vaccines since they have only gone into testing recently.
As the vaccine rolls out we will monitor the rates of allergic reactions in the Johnson and Johnson covid vaccine. When Pfizer and Moderna first rolled out, millions of people were inoculated and then we began to hear reports of these possible allergic reactions. As of February 16th, there have been reported 46 episodes of anaphylaxis with Pfizer and 16 for Moderna according to a CDC report. We will keep you informed of any of such reactions as they occur.
The FDA panel unanimously recommended the J&J vaccine on February 26th as the third Covid vaccine in path to emergency use.