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Is the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as good as the others and will you get to choose which one you take?

Johnson and Johnson's one-shot vaccine helps protect against coronavirus.
Johnson and Johnson's one-shot vaccine helps protect against coronavirus.(Source: Johnson & Johnson/CNN)
Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a hot topic, as some question whether the vaccine is as good as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The Food and Drug Administration had not approved the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at the time this article was written but deputy state health officer, Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said another vaccine was needed to help meet the demand for protection from COVID-19.

There’s no doubt having more vaccine options would help get more people inoculated.

The Janssen vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which means, it uses a less harmful version of the adenoviruses, modified with COVID characteristics to build immunity.

The technology is different from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines which are MRNA and don’t use any actual viruses.

Compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are 95% effective, according to trial data, some asked if the Janssen vaccine is any good.

”An 85% efficacy is good for a vaccine. It’s far superior to what we have for the influenza vaccine every year. So, while that is lower than what we’ve seen initially reported with the mRNA, overall, it’s a reasonable efficacy for a vaccine,” Landers explained.

Dr. Landers said because the vaccine had not been approved by the FDA yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not given guidance on who the vaccine would be better for.

For those with a preference about which vaccine you take, Landers said it would take a bit of leg work deciding where to go before you make an appointment.

“I see clinics working primarily with one product at the moment because they’re not interchangeable and there’s not much concern [right now] about confusing dosage or documentation,” she said.

Landers said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and does not expose you to COVID.

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