Infectious disease expert explains benefits of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 3:06 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have already rolled out in the U.S. But, the country is still waiting on Johnson & Johnson to begin its roll out.

Infectious disease experts say this vaccine will likely be a large part of a worldwide solution to the pandemic.

While the country is still waiting for the latest on the status of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the company did put out a statement saying it intends to distribute its finished product to the federal government immediately following authorization.

The drug maker reports it expects to dole out 100 million doses to the U.S. in the first half of 2021 and start the shipping process immediately after it’s authorized.

Infectious Disease Consultant Dr. Noe Mateo says the Johnson and Johnson vaccine differs from Pfizer and Moderna, which both use new mRNA technology. Instead, Johnson and Johnson is creating a viral vector vaccine.

Mateo says the method this vaccine uses to protect the body from the virus has a well-researched and proven track record with a known engineering and manufacturing process.  

“It’s constructed like traditional vaccines that we’ve had in the recent past,” Mateo said.

Mateo says another benefit of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is it’s easier to store and transport. Plus, patients will only need to get one shot instead of two. 

Mateo suspects this will help the population get vaccinated more quickly. He says the sooner we can get people vaccinated, the sooner the pandemic will be over.

The FDA has scheduled its meeting of independent experts to evaluate the vaccine and make a recommendation for authorization on Feb. 26.

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