By Elliott Nyugen
Johnson & Johnson received approval from the FDA on Saturday, Feb. 27 to begin offering their single-dose vaccine. The New Brunswick-based company made the announcement on their website, promising to deliver 20 million doses to U.S. citizens in March.
70,000 of those doses will soon arrive in New Jersey, said Gov. Murphy in a conference on Monday. An additional 22,500 doses will be given to some CVS and Rite-Aid stores in the state, according to NJ.com.
According to the company, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is 85% effective “in preventing severe disease across all regions studied” and “showed protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death, beginning 28 days after vaccination.”
Despite this, the ability to store the vaccine in typical refrigerators for up to three months coupled with its single-dose delivery may make it more accessible to those in need of vaccination.
“This milestone follows a year of incredible work by our dedicated teams and unprecedented collaboration with health leaders around the world,” said Alex Gorsky, the Chairman and CEO of the company.
The vaccine will be available on an emergency-use basis while more testing is done. Production of the vaccine will be increased with assistance from Merck & Co, a large pharmaceutical company that agreed to a deal with Johnson & Johnson, according to the New York Times.
Corrine Worts, a sophomore nursing major at the College who received the Moderna vaccine, was asked if she would choose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead if given the opportunity.
“I don’t think that I would, because I have more faith in the longevity of Moderna over J&J,” said Worts, who acknowledged that she knew less about the new vaccine. “Since I will be working in the hospital, I like the extra protection knowing that Moderna is at least a bit more effective comparatively.”
She added, “I’m definitely hopeful that with this now the rates of vaccinations will definitely speed up and I think overall it will be a positive impact on our country as a whole.”
Other students at the College share Worts’ opinion. Bailey Pridmore, a sophomore speech pathology major who recently received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, said he would not have taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of his asthma.
However, he added that he thinks the new available vaccines will benefit everyone.
“I think it’s just pure positives,” Pridmore said. “I don’t care who does the vaccinations. I just want as many people to be as vaccinated as they can.”