Oklahoma Doctor Breaks Down Efficacy Of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

Tuesday, March 2nd 2021, 10:17 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

The number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations keep dropping Oklahoma, and with a third vaccine arriving in the state Tuesday, health experts are hopeful things will keep improving.

An immune response doctor said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is different than Pfizer or Moderna's, but it's a type of vaccine seen before, and is already proving to be effective at preventing COVID-19.

"We expect to receive 31,500 doses in the first shipment of the vaccine," said Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is different from Pfizer or Moderna's because it only requires a single dose and it's much easier to store.

"It can be stored in a regular fridge for three months or up to two years at freezer temps," said Dr. Linda Thompson.

Dr. Linda Thompson studies immune response to COVID-19 with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. She said the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use MRNA technology, which essentially gives your body the recipe for COVID-19 so it can trigger an immune response.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses a harmless cold virus that delivers a gene with a copy of the COVID-19 protein to cells, so your body remembers it, and this type of vaccine has proven to be effective for other diseases.

"The most famous is the Ebola vaccine developed by J&J," said Thompson.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was shown to be about 66 percent effective in getting COVID, which is less than the other vaccines, but Thompson said it is 85 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and severe cases of the virus.

"The flu vaccine we get some years is only 50 percent effective, but we still take it," said Thompson.

Thompson said all three vaccines are effective and you should get whichever one is available.

"Roll up your sleeve and get the jab," she said.

The state said rural communities, hospitals and some pharmacies will get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine first.