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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

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The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of immunization to save lives. The COVID-19 vaccine is a critical tool for fighting the pandemic.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. C. Elanchezhian

Published At April 26, 2021
Reviewed AtMarch 3, 2023

Contents

  1. Why Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?
  2. What Is the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE Study?
  3. How Is the Vaccine Stored?
  4. What Age Group Can Have This Vaccine?
  5. Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?
  6. How Is the Vaccine Given?
  7. What Is the Recommended Dose of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  8. What Should You Mention Before Getting Vaccinated?
  9. How Is Johnson & Johnson Vaccine When Compared to the Other Two Vaccines?
  10. Other Than the Side Effects, How Are Pfizer and Moderna Different From the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  11. Are There Benefits From the Technology Used in Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  12. What Are the Side Effects of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  13. What Can Be the Signs of a Severe Allergic Reaction?
  14. How Effective Is Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?
  15. Is the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Effective Against the New Variants of Coronavirus?
  16. Is Booster Dose of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Recommended?
  17. Why Has Was the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Temporarily Stopped?
  18. Why Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?
  19. What Is the Recommended Dose of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  20. What Should People Mention Before Getting Vaccinated?
  21. How Is Johnson & Johnson Vaccine When Compared to the Other Two Vaccines?
  22. Other Than the Side Effects, How Are Pfizer and Moderna Different From the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  23. Are There Benefits From the Technology Used in Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  24. What Are the Side Effects of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
  25. How Effective Is Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?
  26. Is the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Effective Against the New Variants of Coronavirus?
  27. Is Booster Dose of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Recommended?
  28. Why Was the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Temporarily Stopped?

Introduction:

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a single dose vaccine developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to prevent COVID-19. It is the third COVID-19 vaccine that got approved after the two-shot regimens of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca. It is the first single-dose vaccine. However, people ages 18 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (single shot) should get a second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).

Why Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?

The data from the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study shows that this vaccine is 85 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. It provides protection 28 days after the vaccination. The Johnson & Johnson company is planning to apply for the Biologics License Application with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It uses the AdVac vaccine platform, a unique technology that was used to develop Janssen’s European Commission-approved Ebola vaccine.

What Is the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE Study?

The study was enabled to understand the safety and efficacy of this COVID-19 vaccine in protecting against both moderate and severe cases. The efficacy was evaluated on day 14 and day 28 after vaccination. This clinical trial was conducted in about eight countries. About 34 percent of people who participated in the trial were above the age of 60, and 41 percent of individuals had comorbidities. After 14 days of vaccination, the trial results showed that it is 66.9 percent effective in moderate cases and 76.7 percent effective in severe cases. The efficacy was around 66.1 percent in moderate cases and 85.4 percent in severe cases when the results were taken at least 28 days after getting the vaccine.

How Is the Vaccine Stored?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is compatible with standard vaccine storage and distribution channels with easy delivery to remote areas. The vaccine remains stable for two years at -4 degrees F (-20 degrees Celsius) and a maximum of three months at temperatures of 36 to 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees Celsius). The vaccine should not be re-frozen if distributed at a temperature of 36 to 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees Celsius).

What Age Group Can Have This Vaccine?

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for individuals of age 18 years and above. This vaccine is reliable and effective in people with associated comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, and lung diseases. In people with these medical conditions, the risk of progression of the disease to severe form is increased. It can also be given to people who previously had a COVID-19 infection. Breastfeeding women are safe to get this vaccine, and discontinuation after vaccination is also not needed.

Who Should Not Get the Vaccine?

  • Individuals who have a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients of this vaccine.
  • Persons who have an increased body temperature above 38.5 degree Celsius should take their vaccine only after their temperature comes back to normal.
  • People below the age of 18 years are not recommended to get this vaccine.

How Is the Vaccine Given?

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine. It is administered intramuscularly in the deltoid muscle.

0.5 ml of the vaccine is given as a single dose intramuscularly. One should wait for 14 days before taking a vaccine for any other health conditions.

What Should People Mention Before Getting Vaccinated?

Before getting vaccinated, people have to inform if they:

  • Have any allergies.
  • Have fever.
  • Have any bleeding disorders.
  • Are on any blood thinners.
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Have immune-compromising conditions.
  • Have received another COVID-19 vaccine earlier.

How Is Johnson & Johnson Vaccine When Compared to the Other Two Vaccines?

Pfizer and Moderna require two shots to give the maximum protection against the COVID-19. But in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it is a single-shot vaccine. If someone is worried about the side effects, they should go for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as the side effects are minimal compared to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. According to Pfizer, about 3.8 percent of their clinical trial participants experienced fatigue and 2 percent experienced headaches. According to Moderna, 9.7 percent of the trial participants experienced fatigue and headache. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the side effects from the second shot will be more than the first shot.

In trials of both Pfizer and Moderna, more people experienced side effects after the second shot. People are bound to get the second shot even if they experience side effects from the first shot. The main side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are pain at the injection site and flu-like symptoms.

Other Than the Side Effects, How Are Pfizer and Moderna Different From the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?

In Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, mRNA is introduced into the body, unlike the traditional vaccines where a weakened or inactivated germ is injected into the body. The mRNA is a code that serves as an instruction manual to the immune system to identify the virus and attack it. In the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, instead of using mRNA, it uses a disabled adenovirus to provide instructions on how to attack the virus.

Are There Benefits From the Technology Used in Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?

Yes, the biggest advantage is that Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine can be kept at refrigerator temperatures for months, and it will be stable. In contrast, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not as durable as Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and they require very cold storage temperatures. Once Pfizer and Moderna are taken out of cold temperatures, their window time is short, but it is not the case in Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Hence it is better to maintain and deliver to different parts of the country, especially rural areas.

What Are the Side Effects of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?

The side effects that have been reported include :

  • Pain at the site of injection.
  • Redness of the skin around the injection site.
  • Swelling at the injection site.

There can be general side effects like other vaccines which includes:

  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea.
  • Muscle spasms.

There is also a report saying that there can be severe allergic reactions.

What Can Be the Signs of a Severe Allergic Reaction?

The signs of a severe allergic reaction include:

  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Swelling of the face.
  • Rashes all over the body.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Dizziness.
  • Weakness.

These signs are not the usual side effects. But when there is a serious allergic reaction, these unexpected side effects may occur.

How Effective Is Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine?

  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has high efficacy in preventing hospitalization and death in people who get sick. No one who got COVID-19 after getting vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was hospitalized.
  • There is also evidence saying that Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against asymptomatic infection.
  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was 66.3 percent effective in the clinical trials at preventing COVID-19 infection in people with no evidence of the prior COVID-19 infection.
  • People had the maximum protection against the COVID-19 infection after two weeks of vaccination.

Is the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Effective Against the New Variants of Coronavirus?

Clinical trials have proved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be efficient against the new variants of coronavirus, like the Beta (B1.351), Zeta (P.2), Omicron (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2), and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants.

As of October 20, 2021, the United States FDA has approved the use of booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People of 18 years and above should get a booster dose It is recommended in people who have taken the single-dose shot of the J&J vaccine before two months or in individuals who have taken any other approved or authorized vaccine. The booster dose has the same formulation and dosage as that of the primary dose. Some people can also choose to receive a second booster. On March 29th, 2022, the CDC recommended that a second booster dose (with any mRNA vaccine) can be administered after four months of the initial booster dose.

Why Was the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Temporarily Stopped?

The Federal Health Authorities recommended temporarily stopping the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while investigating a potential link to very rare blood clots. CDC and FDA are reviewing the six reported cases of rare and severe types of blood clots that developed after getting vaccinated. Hence there was a temporary pause in administering the vaccine. After reviewing the available data, the CDC and FDA resumed the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States from April 23, 2021. It was attributed that the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the potential risks that can happen with vaccination, thus resuming the use of the J&J vaccine. Nevertheless, women above the age of 50 with reduced platelets should be cautious of getting the vaccine as it risks blood clot formation. In such cases, an alternative vaccine may be chosen.

Conclusion:

No vaccine can be 100 percent effective. The only thing is that it reduces the severity of the disease. That is the most important factor of a vaccine. Everyone must get a booster dose after the primary vaccination. Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster dose increased vaccine effectiveness (VE) against hospitalization and death to 85 percent. Even if it is not 100 percent effective, there are less chances of getting any severe complications. Getting vaccinated is the most important thing that can be done for self-protection against COVID-19, help end the pandemic and stop new variants emerging.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Timeframe for Being Fully Vaccinated After Receiving the J&J Vaccine?

Two weeks are required to be fully vaccinated after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This means that you have developed maximum immunity against COVID-19. It is essential to wait two weeks to ensure the vaccine's effectiveness.

2.

Is the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Still Authorized for Use?

Yes, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still authorized for use in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend the J&J vaccine as a safe and effective option to protect against COVID-19. However, some reports have been of rare blood clots associated with the vaccine.

3.

Can You Receive a Second Vaccine Dose After Getting the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine?

Yes, you can receive a second vaccine dose after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The CDC recommends that individuals who received the J&J vaccine can receive a booster shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least two months after their initial dose. This is to increase the level of protection against COVID-19 and its variants.

4.

What Should You Expect After Receiving the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine?

After receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you may experience common side effects such as pain, redness, swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, and fever. These side effects usually last a few days and can be managed with over-the-counter medication. Contacting a healthcare professional if you experience severe or unusual symptoms is essential.

5.

Is a Booster Shot Required for the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine?

A booster shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not required but recommended. The CDC suggests that people who received the J&J vaccine should consider getting a booster shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least two months after their initial dose to increase their protection against COVID-19 and its variants.

6.

What Distinguishes the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine from Others?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine differs from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in several ways. Unlike the other two vaccines, it is a single-shot vaccine that does not require a second dose. Additionally, it uses a different technology, a modified adenovirus, to deliver the coronavirus spike protein to trigger an immune response. The J&J vaccine can also be stored in a regular refrigerator, making it easier to distribute and administer.

7.

Which COVID-19 Vaccine Is Superior?

All three COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States - Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson - are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The effectiveness rates of the vaccines may vary slightly, but all three provide excellent protection against the virus. It is recommended that individuals receive whichever vaccine is available to them.

8.

What Are the Hazards of the J&J Vaccine?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been associated with rare cases of blood clots, particularly in women under 50. The risk of blood clots is estimated to be around 7 cases per million doses administered. However, it is essential to the fact that the benefits of vaccination are more than the risks, and the chances of developing blood clots from the vaccine are extremely low. The CDC and FDA continue recommending the J&J vaccine as a safe and effective option against COVID-19.

9.

Is Moderna or Pfizer a Better Vaccine Option?

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines effectively prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The vaccines have similar efficacy rates, side effects, and recommended dosage. Therefore, the choice between the two vaccines ultimately comes from availability and personal preference. It is recommended that individuals receive whichever vaccine is available to them.

10.

Has the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Received FDA Approval?

Yes, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for use in individuals aged 18 and older in the United States. The EUA was granted when it was shown to be effective and safe in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 in clinical trials. The FDA continues to monitor the safety and efficacy of the J&J vaccine closely.

11.

How Many Doses of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Are Required?

Only one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is required to achieve full vaccination against COVID-19.  The main advantages of the J&J vaccine as it simplifies the vaccination process and reduces the burden on healthcare providers and individuals. The vaccine successfully prevents severe illness and death from COVID-19 with a single dose.

12.

How Long Does Immunity from Vaccines Last in the Body?

The duration of immunity from COVID-19 vaccines is still being studied, but current evidence suggests that vaccine-induced immunity lasts for at least six months or more. Some studies have suggested that immunity from the vaccines may wane over time, particularly against new virus variants. However, it is essential to know that if vaccine-induced immunity decreases with time, the vaccines will be highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Boosters may be recommended to maintain protection against the virus.

13.

Which Vaccine Is Most Effective Against the Omicron Variant?

Studies show that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide great protection against the Omicron COVID-19. The effectiveness of the vaccines against the variant may be lower than against earlier strains of the virus. However, they still protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. It is essential to know that the effectiveness of the vaccines depends on factors including age, health conditions, and previous vaccination status.

14.

Which Vaccine Provides the Greatest Protection Against the Omicron Variant?

Recent studies have suggested that the Moderna vaccine provides slightly greater protection against the Omicron variant of COVID-19 than the Pfizer vaccine. However, both vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the variant. The effectiveness of the vaccines depends on factors such as age, underlying health conditions, and previous vaccination status.

15.

Is a COVID-19 Booster Shot Effective?

Yes, studies proved that the COVID-19 booster dose effectively increases immunity against the virus, especially in those who received their primary vaccination series several months ago. Booster doses increase antibody levels and provide additional protection against emerging virus variants. However, the effectiveness of the booster dose also depends on individual factors, including age, underlying health conditions, and the type of vaccine received.
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Dr. C. Elanchezhian
Dr. C. Elanchezhian

General Medicine

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