It’s official. A third COVID-19 vaccine is out for distribution in the United States. This Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. It is the first vaccine to only require one shot for immunization.
An estimated 3.9 million doses of this third vaccine will be distributed across the U.S beginning tomorrow 3/2. Johnson & Johnson stated that they are committed to distribute 100 million doses by June and up to one billion by the end of this year.
Based on clinical trials, J&J claims that as of now this one-dose vaccine is 72% effective against preventing mild/severe COVID-19 disease. Its rivals, Moderna and Pzifer, are both over 90% effective against this virus. Despite the percentage differences, health experts say that all three vaccinations are highly effective.
All three of these vaccines contain basically the same genetic instructions. What distinguishes J&J’s vaccine from the others is the delivery system. Both Moderna and Pfizer are packed in the form of RNA and J&J’s vaccine is in the form of DNA.
Another major difference is that the first two vaccines must be kept in specialized freezers to prevent the RNA from decaying. This third vaccine is fairly stable and can be preserved in refrigerators for months.