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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine To Arrive In Utah Next Week, Gov. Cox Says

FILE (Photo by Alvaro Calvo/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer J. Cox said Utah may receive doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine as early as Wednesday after an FDA panel endorsed the single-shot vaccine Friday.

“So many have suffered through this pandemic,” Cox said. “A third authorized vaccine tells me that even through some of our darkest times, miracles still happen. This is a testament to modern research, science, public health and medicine. We are in a race to save as many lives as possible through vaccines. This vaccine will do that. Remember, all three vaccines are safe and effective. You can have confidence that any of them will protect you and those around you from COVID-19.”

The FDA is expected to fully approve the vaccine. Once it issues a final decision, shipments of a few million doses could begin as early as Monday.

State officials said the J&J vaccine will be distributed across Utah according to current eligibility standards. The J&J vaccine is currently approved for individuals age 18 and older.

We still await guidance from the CDC on how the vaccine will be recommended for use, but a single-dose vaccine, like this one, has great potential to protect people who may be less likely to be able to get a second dose,” they said. “It is easier to store and gives us the ability to get the vaccine to more communities throughout Utah.”

J&J Vaccine Effectiveness

The two-dose Pfizer and Moderna shots were found to be about 95% effective against symptomatic COVID-19. The numbers from J&J’s study are not that high, but it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. One dose of the J&J vaccine was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19. After adding in moderate cases, the total effectiveness dropped to about 66%.

Some experts fear that lower number could feed public perceptions that J&J’s shot is a “second-tier vaccine.” But the difference in protection reflects when and where J&J conducted its studies.

More details here.

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