LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There are now three COVID-19 vaccines on the market. Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose shot was given the green light from the FDA over the weekend and it could be in people’s arms in the area in days.
“I have been told that we are going to start injecting people later this week with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Dr. Jon Klein from University of Louisville School of Medicine said.
Four million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be out by the end of this week across the country. It’s the third coronavirus vaccine to win emergency use authorization, after Pfizer/BioNTech’s and Moderna’s vaccines.
“The bottom line is all three vaccines block serious illness, block hospitalization, decrease and in fact completely eliminate deaths in clinical trials. This is an excellent vaccine. It’s one I would take myself if I had not already received the Pfizer vaccine,” Klein said.
In clinical trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine demonstrated a 72 percent efficacy in the United States. The vaccine can be stored at regular refrigeration levels and requires just one dose.
“If you think about it for a minute, particularly this is a useful vaccine to have for people who have limited transportation,” Klein said. “Elderly people who are shut-ins who may have been missed in the phase 1A and 1B rollouts. Homeless people who simply have no resources.”
The vaccine will also help people in rural communities since it doesn’t have to be stored frozen, Klein said. It’s easier to handle for small hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies.
Klein said we should learn soon where the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available in our area, but adds people should take the first vaccine available to them, regardless of manufacturer.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be spotty this month, even though the company says there will be 20 million doses out the door by the end of March. Johnson & Johnson says it will begin trials on children under the age of 18 and pregnant women.