What’s Different About the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?

It’s official: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been granted emergency use authorization by the US FDA, joining the ranks of Moderna and Pfizer. Here’s why this decision could be a game-changer for vaccine distribution.
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While not as high as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s 94 and 95% overall efficacy, this vaccine was found to be 85% effective against severe disease, regardless of the region or what variant it is exposed to. What’s more, it requires a single dose to work and doesn’t have specialized freezers — two attributes which could be a MASSIVE game changer for expanding access across the globe.

Not only that, but the J&J vaccine is more durable than many of its counterparts, particularly those developed by Moderna and Pfizer.
Also, unlike mRNA based vaccines, which are incredibly fragile and require cold storage to protect from damage, the J&J vaccine doesn’t require the same ultra-cold storage to stay intact. In fact, it can keep in a regular refrigerator for up to three months.

So, how exactly did J&J bring this all together? Well, it all has to do with how its vaccine is formulated. Similar to the University of Oxford’s Astrazeneca vaccine and China’s CanSino vaccine, it uses a modified adenovirus as its vector: specifically, Ad26. That adenovirus is going to induce certain kinds of protective responses that will allow this little piece of COVID that we stuck into it to have a much greater effect. Once the little piece of COVID is inside the cell nucleus, its DNA code for creating a spike protein gets translated into RNA. The cell can then ‘read’ those instructions to make copies of the virus’s spike protein. These copies trigger the body’s immune response, helping it to become familiar with the virus and develop a plan of attack, should the two ever meet again.

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Read More:

J&J’s single-dose COVID vaccine raises hopes for faster rollout
“US regulators have authorized Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine — which does not require a booster shot, and could simplify the logistics of mass vaccination.”

Why The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Has Gotten A Bad Rap — And Why That’s Not Fair
“First of all, I want to make the case that the J&J vaccine is not a lesser vaccine. And second is we absolutely should not be distributing these things based on socioeconomic status or any of those things.”

What are Adenovirus-Based Vaccines?
“Adenoviruses are considered excellent vectors for delivering target antigens to mammalian hosts because of their capability to induce both innate and adaptive immune responses. ”


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