This Is Who Should Wait for the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Experts Say
All of the COVID vaccines are effective, but this group might want to hold off for the next one.
With two COVID vaccine options available, it could be tough to decide which one to get. For most of us, that's not yet a concern—you get whichever vaccine is available—but we might have a little more flexibility in the near future. In addition to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Johnson & Johnson recently applied for emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means there could be three vaccines to choose from soon. All three vaccines are highly effective and safe, but there is one group of people that might consider waiting for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to become available. Keep reading to find out who might want to hold off for the next COVID vaccine, and for more on vaccine rollout, Dr. Fauci Says You'll Easily Get a Vaccine Appointment After This Date.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is better for people who have difficulty traveling.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single shot. As Live Science notes, this may make it a better option for people who have difficulty traveling to get the vaccine, particularly those with limited mobility.
"People get one shot, but there's no guarantee they can come back for the second shot," infectious disease expert Peter Gulick, MD, told Live Science. For this group of people, it would be wise to cut down travel time and opt for the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine. And for more ways to get vaccinated, This Is Who Can Get the Leftover Vaccine at Walgreens, CVS, & Walmart.
The vaccine is also easier to store and transport.
Doses of Johnson & Johnson doses can be stored much more easily than the other vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna must be stored between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to five days and -13 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 days, respectively. The vaccine must then be administered within six hours of thawing—otherwise, it's no longer viable.
On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine remains stable for at least three months between 35 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about the temperature of your fridge at home. "The fact you can easily store [the Johnson & Johnson vaccine] in a doctor's office, pharmacy, etc., could make it more accessible," Gulick told Live Science. This is an especially helpful advantage for rural areas. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
All three COVID vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective.
While Johnson & Johnson's vaccine has many advantages, it is somewhat less effective at protecting you from symptomatic illness. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed 66 percent efficacy at reducing severe and moderate cases of COVID. On the other hand, Pfizer's vaccine had 95 percent efficacy, and Moderna's had 94 percent efficacy at preventing symptomatic COVID cases. It's important to note however that all three vaccines are thought to be 100 percent effective at preventing COVID-related hospitalization and death, according to Live Science. And for more on life after vaccination, Dr. Fauci Just Confirmed You Can Do This After Getting Vaccinated.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be available in March.
Currently, Pfizer and Moderna are the only vaccines available in the U.S. However, Live Science said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be available as soon as early March. After applying for FDA approval and emergency-use authorization, the company expressed optimism that the shot would be on the market shortly. According to a statement, Johnson & Johnson expects to have the product ready to ship immediately following authorization. And for more vaccine news, The CDC Says These 3 Side Effects Mean Your Vaccine Is Working.