New Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes strides against COVID-19

The new vaccine will require one dosage compared to the two dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations.

FARGO, N.D. — A one shot COVID-19 vaccine will soon join the others providing protection against the virus.

“This is a one dose vaccination so that’s very exciting because even though we can produce 200 million doses of the other mRNA vaccines we are only still immunizing a hundred million people so if we are able to produce a hundred million of these vaccinations we can immunize one hundred million people,” Sanford Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Avish Nagpal said.

One difference between the Johnson &Johnson vaccine and current two dose vaccines is it uses the viruses DNA to protect you.

“The immune system will engulf that virus, but when it engulfs the virus and breaks it down what comes out of it is the DNA and then the DNA produces the spike protein which the body will recognize and produce antibodies against,” said Dr. Nagpal.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine appears to be 72-percent effective in the United States.

The two shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rise to 95 percent.

“I don’t want the focus to be 72 percent efficacy or 50 percent down in Africa, I want the focus to be on one thing which is what we are measuring right now is prevention of infection. The real focus should be how much hospitalizations it can prevent, how much deaths it can prevent and how much complications it can prevent,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Dr. Nagpal believes the vaccine is great resource to reduce hospitalizations.

“It will prevent death in hospitalizations in 100 percent of people, which means that with the help of this vaccine, even though the numbers are not as great as Moderna and Pfizer it has the potential to reduce COVID-19 to just another respiratory virus,” said Dr. Nagpal.

Dr. Nagpal says if approved, we could see the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as early as March.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, North Dakota News