SAN JOSE (KPIX) — A new milestone in the fight against the pandemic came Friday when the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee recommended the approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency authorization.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference on earlier in the day that the state is expected to receive 380,300 doses of the new vaccine next week. His announcement came as vaccine supply shortage continues to be an issue.READ MORE: Rising Sea Level Threatens Stinson Beach Neighborhoods
The final approval for the vaccine could come as soon as this weekend. University of California San Francisco professor of epidemiology George Rutherford said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be in the arms of Americans as early as Monday.
The one-dose vaccine is 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease and 66 percent effective in protecting against moderate to severe disease 28 days after vaccination.
Pfizer and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines are 95 percent and 94 percent effective, respectively.
“I would happily take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, plus it’s all over in one dose,” Dr. Rutherford said. “All these vaccines prevent death and serious illness … make no mistake about that. They’re all the same. There were zero deaths or serious illness across all these vaccine trials so that’s the bottom line.”
Rutherford added that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has data which shows its single dose can prevent infection and not just severe disease. There are studies that show Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines can prevent disease but not infection, he said.READ MORE: Kaiser Employees Win $11.5 Million Class-Action, Race-Discrimination Lawsuit
However, it’s still not enough to bring comfort for some, including Karol Zanjani, who has an appointment next week to get vaccinated.
“I think it’s great to have a choice but, for myself, I think I will probably stay with Moderna,” she said.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also easier to transport because it can be stored in a refrigerator for months whereas its competitors must be kept in super-cold freezers.
Rutherford said the single-dose vaccine could help keep outbreaks of the virus minimal because people wouldn’t have to wait for a second dose.
“I was thinking I was going to have to wait until this summer,” said Cathy Morrey who is not yet eligible for the vaccine under California’s guidelines.
Morrey, who masks up and wears gloves when she leaves her home, can’t wait to get any dose of protection including Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.MORE NEWS: Bay Area Teams Ready to Welcome Fans But Impact of Fake Vaccination Cards Is Unknown
“I’m excited about it, I’m ready,” Morrey said. “If that’s the first one that I can get and I think the fact that it has only one shot, I’m all in.”