Johnson & Johnson applies for emergency use; What makes this COVID-19 vaccine different

What are the differences between COVID-19 vaccines?

Johnson & Johnson has applied for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.

News Center 7 is looking into how the new vaccine compares to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.

Dr. Huth, Vice President of Medical Affairs, at Reid Health said if the FDA approves the emergency use authorization for the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it would certainly speed up the vaccination process.

Content Continues Below

“They use a weakened common cold virus that cannot replicate but can get into the target cell and have genetic code for that spike protein,” said Dr. Huth.

One of the big differences between the three vaccines is their effective rates.

The Pfizer vaccine has a ninety-five percent effective rate and the Moderna vaccine has a ninety-four percent effective rate.

Dr. Huth said the lower effectiveness may have something to do with only being one shot and the varients of COVID-19 vaccines were tested on during clinical trials.

Dr. Huth went on to say, “It depends on the country it was tested in. In some countries, the effectiveness was up in the high 80′s and in South Africa, it was in the 60-65% range.”

Pfizer and Moderna are similar because they use a new technology that involves a tiny amount of messenger RNA that directs the cells, targets cells to directly produce the spike protein on the cell surface, and causes the immune system to react.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine doesn’t contain the mRNA.

This means it doesn’t need to be stored in a special freezer at an extremely cold temperature.

It can last for three months in a normal refrigerator.

Instead, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine contains something called viral vectored technology.

One similarity between the three vaccines is their side effects.

All three include pain at the injection site, chills, fever, headache, signaling an immune response.

For Moderna and Pfizer vaccines these side effects were more common after the second vaccine.

A side effect not reported in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the severe allergic reaction several people have reported from the other vaccines.

Now that Johnson & Johnson has applied for the emergency use authorization, Dr. Huth said there will a series of committee meetings where they’ll work to find out whether or not they’ll be approving it.

He also said it looks like they’re taking a little bit longer than they did with Pfizer and Moderna and it could be several more weeks before we hear any news.