One Shot Is All You Need
What do we know about Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine and how it can help us?
Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) ‘Janssen Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine’ is a single-shot vaccine. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization in February 2021, and it has been approved for all those who are aged 18 years and older.
The J&J vaccine uses a disabled adenovirus to deliver the instructions. This virus can deliver the instructions on how to defeat the coronavirus, but it can’t replicate in your body and will not give you a viral infection. According to WHO, the vaccine has an efficacy of 85.4% against severe disease and hospitalisation which was observed 28 days after inoculation. The vaccine has an efficacy of 66.9% against symptomatic moderate and severe infection.
The Better One
India’s current vaccination drive is being carried out with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Russian vaccine Sputnik V. And all these vaccines are two shot vaccines. And right now, the government is increasing the gap between the two doses. Recently, the government has increased the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield to 12–16 weeks.
So, why are they increasing the gap? Adar Poonawalla told NDTV that it is “…beneficial both from efficacy and immunogenicity standpoint.” He added that it is a “…good scientific decision to increase the gap.” However, some critics ask whether this decision has been taken by the government due to the vaccine shortage in our country and increasing the gap will help vaccinate more people.
So, why are we talking about this here? Because the biggest advantage of J&J’s vaccine is that it is a single shot vaccine. That means you get the protection that you need, and you only have to get one shot. This could also mean that this vaccine will expedite India’s vaccination drive and more people will get the protection they need in just one shot unlike the other vaccines.
The other good thing about the J&J vaccine is that it can be kept at essentially refrigerator temperatures for months, making them much easier to distribute and maintain. This will also help our country by making it easier to distribute the vaccines to the rural areas.
It looks like the J&J vaccine could help India massively, so when will we get access to it? Last month, Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology said that the vaccine is anticipated to be imported to India by June or July this year. But there are also plans to produce the vaccine in our country itself.
The MD of Biological E. told Reuters that the company will produce the J&J vaccine alongside its own candidate. The company is planning to contract-manufacture around 600 million doses of the J&J vaccine annually. All in all, this vaccine could help India with the vaccine shortage crisis and also, thus helping us contain the spread of the infection.
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