MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - It’s being called a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19. The one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine began shipping Monday.
It will join the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines increasing supply.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved over the weekend and could be in arms as early as Tuesday.
This new vaccine doesn’t need special cold storage making it easier to reach more people, but the biggest difference with this vaccine is that it requires just one shot.
That means each dose is a full vaccination, vastly speeding up collective immunity.
Dr. Scott Gottleib, former FDA Commissioner said, “You don’t have herd immunity, but you have immunity in the population that this just doesn’t transfer as readily. So I do think as we get into the warm weather, as we vaccinate more of the population and in view of the fact that at least a third of Americans have had this I do think infection levels are going to come down dramatically.”
EFFECTIVE AGAINST HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH
One shot isn’t the only difference with the J&J vaccine. The two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have efficacies around 95 percent. That’s the protection against symptomatic infection.
The J&J efficacy rate is lower, at 72 percent.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s impossible to fully compare the vaccines, since trials were conducted at different times, with different populations, but he recommends getting any vaccine you can.
Dr. Fauci says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine proved to be effective against Covid-19 and the variants. “It’s got greater than 85 percent efficacy [preventing] severe disease and critical disease, and there were no deaths or hospitalizations in any of the countries that were tested.”
Dr. Fauci explained, “People should take the one that is the most available to them. If you go to a place and you have J&J and that’s the one that’s available now I would take it.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health says that 40,100 doses of the J&J vaccine will be delivered to the state this week.
Johnson and Johnson is promising 100 million doses delivered country-wide by June. The Biden administration says those doses will be given out to states proportionately.
For Alabama, that should mean around one and half million doses total over the next three months.