With news of a third COVID-19 vaccine getting emergency use authorization from the FDA, we wanted to explain some of the differences between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and how all 3 are safe and effective at protecting against COVID-19.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not use mRNA technology like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, rather it uses a more traditional virus-based technology. This means that it delivers a harmless virus to our bodies that prods our cells to produce a spike protein and once our immune system detects that protein, it starts making the antibodies that will protect against COVID-19.
Trials showed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was more than 66% effective when it came to preventing illness and 85% effective in preventing hospitalizations and death.
One of the main benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it is a single shot, while the mRNA vaccines require two. It can also be kept at refrigerator temperatures and will remain stable for months, making it easier to distribute and maintain.
Side effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can typically last a day or two, varying from person to person, and can include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, chills or nausea shortly after being vaccinated.