FDA approves the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use

johnson & johnson vaccine, johnson vaccine
© Zhukovsky

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with an efficacy of 86%, as the next to be rolled out across the US

On 24 February, the FDA found that the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine was 86% effective against COVID, when both doses are given.

This was an increase of 1% on the last batch of data released by the New Jersey-based drugmaker.

On 27 February, the FDA formally approved the vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccine has been cleared to be used by all individuals over the age of 18.

Dr Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, commented: “After a thorough analysis of the data, the FDA’s scientists and physicians have determined that the vaccine meets the FDA’s expectations for safety and effectiveness appropriate for the authorization of a vaccine for emergency use.

“With today’s authorization, we are adding another vaccine in our medical toolbox to fight this virus.”

When will the vaccine be ready for the US public?

The drugmaker is expected to deliver 4 million doses this week, with vaccination to begin as soon as Tuesday (2 March). Biden officials confirmed that the process will move as quickly as possible.

Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine good?

Simply put, yes.

The data behind this decision came from the immense analysis of 39,321 participants in an ongoing study conducted across South Africa, South America, Mexico and the US. Overall the vaccine retained a 67% against severe to critical forms of COVID, while holding a 66% efficiency against moderate COVID.

However, when it comes to the South African mutation, vaccine efficiency drops to 57%. The Brazilian mutation also creates a decrease in power, with a 66% result seen in trials conducted in Latin America.

The double-dose creates a protection of 85% or 86%.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the only one that can create significant protection in one shot.

Acting FDA Commissioner, Dr Janet Woodcock, commented: “The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States.”


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