LUBBOCK, Texas — The Food and Drug Administration has officially approved the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for use in adults. With this being the third COVID vaccine on the market, many folks have wondered if one vaccine is better than the other.
“I really don’t think there is much of a difference. I think they all provide a level of immunity that we need to get to keep moving forward. I’m glad to see where our COVID numbers are, and I’d like to make sure they stay there or keep going down,” said Regional Pharmacy Director for Covenant Health, Wesley Wells.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to be around 95 percent effective after two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only 72 percent effective. But health experts say that behind those numbers, there is more than meets the eyes.
“You can’t really compare apples to apples. The Johnson & Johnson Janssen study went a little bit later when you saw some of these new variants come out from the U.K and South Africa. The nice part about the Johnson & Johnson one is that it was studied in those areas, so we have a little bit more information on some of these new variants that are coming out,” said Wells.
The most notable difference between the three is the number of doses and storage. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only one dose, and like Moderna, are stored at normal refrigeration temperatures. Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses.
“So far, we’ve had a really good turnout for second doses, but it is going to be a challenge in the long-term to make sure everyone comes back in for that second one,” said the Director of the City of Lubbock Health Department, Katherine Wells.
With the extra doses another vaccine would bring, it could bring about herd immunity faster.
“It would push us to the point where every adult American who wants it could get the vaccine,” said Chief Medical Officer at UMC, Dr. Mike Ragain.
Experts stand by the fact that the best vaccine is the one offered to you.
“It’s really important that we get as many people vaccinated, whereas the brand doesn’t matter as much,” said Katherine Wells.
The City of Lubbock Health Department hopes to get some doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine now that it has been approved, but so far, are still giving out the Moderna vaccine at the vaccine clinic.