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Heartland health experts talk about Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 3:32 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

However, there are some differences between this vaccine and Pfizer and Moderna.

“If we still have thousands of people getting COVID, but nobody dying of COVID. That’s a victory. I would consider that to be pandemic over,” said Dr. Jeff Ripperda with Shawnee Healthcare.

Dr. Ripperda is talking about what the COVID-19 vaccine can do, but more specifically the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72 percent. That is about 20 percent less than the Pfizer and the Moderna shots.

Dr. Ripperda said to not spend time focusing on that number.

“I hear some people say, ‘well, it’s not 100 percent effective,’ and then the question is really should be next, 100 percent effective at preventing what? You’re right it’s not 100 percent effective at preventing you from getting COVID entering into your body. But it is pretty well at 100 percent at keeping COVID from killing you,” he said.

Maria Davis with Cape County Public Health Center said if you have a chance to get the Johnson & Johnson shot, don’t hesitate.

“If the vaccine is available to you, we want you to get it. We need that protection in the community and the more people we have protected, it will actually increase protection throughout the community,” she said.

And once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine hits the market, the company said by the end of March they will ship out 20 million doses.

Davis and Dr. Ripperda agree this will be huge for vaccine distribution as this vaccine only requires one shot.

“When we are thinking about the number of doses that’s coming from Moderna and Pfizer, we actually have to divide that in half because it’s a two-dose vaccine. So the fact that we are going to a third [vaccine], and it’s only one dose, this is huge for the pandemic,” she said.

Johnson & Johnson said it could have four million doses ready by next week.

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