By Zion Samuel
On February 4, 2021, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced its request for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The FDA is generally expected to approve J&J’s application. As a result, the U.S. would have three Covid vaccines in use.
How the J&J Vaccine Compares to Others
Currently, Pfizer and Moderna produce the two vaccines with FDA emergency authorization. The J&J candidate differs markedly from both.
Evidently, these differences may significantly affect how the pandemic progresses in 2021.
Some are undeniably worried that the J&J candidate is not effective enough. While Pfizer and Moderna’s showed 95% and 94% effective, J&J’s had a much lower result of 66%. However, the context of these percentages is often overlooked.
Specifically, these figures describe the prevention of mild to moderate cases. According to Dr. Fauci of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the prevention of severe cases matters most. J&J reports its candidate is 85% effective in that regard. This exceeds the FDA’s desired minimum of 50%. In light of that, experts in the field are not discounting the potential value of this vaccine.
Transport & Dosage:
Comparatively, the Moderna and Pfizer alternatives have two logistical downsides:
- Both require freezers for shipping.
- Recipients need two doses, given a month apart.
In contrast, the J&J vaccine is a single-dose treatment that ships in standard refrigerators. As a result, its approval could speed up vaccination efforts considerably.
Vaccination Availability and Workplace Safety Standards
As of August 2020, the U.S. has a contract for 100 million doses that are already ready for shipment. Provided that the FDA grants J&J emergency authorization, even more people will have a path to vaccination. Even so, employers must still follow OSHA guidelines on workplace safety for the pandemic on:
- Social distancing
Although more Americans are vaccinated each day, pandemic-related safety guidelines won’t go away for some time.
Johnson & Johnson. (2021, February 4). Johnson & Johnson announces submission of application to the U.S. FDA for emergency use authorization of its investigational single-shot Jansen COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Retrieved February 7, 2021, from https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-submission-of-application-to-the-u-s-fda-for-emergency-use-authorization-of-its-investigational-single-shot-janssen-covid-19-vaccine-candidate
Lovelace, Jr., B. (2021, February 4). Johnson & Johnson requests emergency use authorization from FDA for Covid vaccine. Retrieved February 7, 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/04/covid-vaccine-jj-requests-fda-emergency-use-authorization.html
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2021, January 29). Protecting workers: Guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. Retrieved February 7, 2021, from https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework