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This article explains in laymen's terms what happens to the immune system when people receive a vaccine.

A New Vaccine by Johnson & Johnson


Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced (Feb 4, 2021) it has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its investigational single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate. the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses double-stranded DNA.

How Effective is this New Vaccine?  

Although clinical trial data has not yet been made available publicly, the company issued a press release describing some of the key observations. In the U.S., the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 72 percent in clinical trials. But in South Africa, where a new and more contagious COVID mutants has been found, the efficacy rate dropped to 57 percent. However, the vaccine was 85% effective in preventing severe disease (positive COVID-19 test plus one or more of following: tachypnea, tachycardia, hypoxia, hypoxemia, respiratory failure, shock, significant organ dysfunction, intensive care unit admission, or death) and 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations. This new vaccine was tested in more than 43,000 people in United States, Latin America and South Africa, including significant proportion of patients from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

How is this New vaccine different?

For this vaccine researchers added a gene for the coronavirus spike protein to another virus called Adenovirus 26. Adenoviruses are common viruses that typically cause colds or flu-like symptoms. The Johnson & Johnson team used a modified adenovirus that can enter cells but can’t replicate inside them or cause illness. This J&J vaccine comes out of decades of research on adenovirus-based vaccines.

Adenovirus-based vaccines for Covid-19 are more rugged than mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. As a result, the J&J vaccine is expected to remain stable for two years at -4°F (-20°C), at least three months of which can be stored in most standard refrigerators at temperatures of 36°F–46°F (2°-8°C). 

This will make the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine easier to distribute, particularly in poorer parts of the world, where issues of storage at cold temperatures will be a problem. Also, the new vaccine should work in countries where the new more aggressive COVID mutants are now causing COVID infections.

What are the Side Effects of this Vaccine?

Side effects appear to be lower with this vaccine than the already approved ones.

J&J reported that 9% of participants got a fever after injection, but less than 1% had a high fever; others reported pain and fatigue, but all side effects were short-lived. No one suffered a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), according to the company.


Pfizer was found to have 95% efficacy against the alpha (first seen in the UK) and beta variant (first seen in S. Africa). Two studies showed that after fully vaccination it’s 88% effective in symptomatic disease and 96% effective against hospitalization for the delta variant.

Moderna, experts believe that it may work similarly to the Pfizer vaccine because they’re both mRNA vaccines.

Johnson and Johnson was found to be efficacious with the alpha variant and have 64% overall efficacy and 82% efficacy in severe disease with the beta variant. A report in July found this vaccine to also be efficacious in the delta variant.

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