The Truth About The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

The FDA has analyzed data about the new COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson and deemed it safe and effective. It could be approved as early as this weekend, adding to the two manufacturers already making the rounds in the United States — Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose instead of two separate doses, which makes getting the vaccination simpler and faster. This COVID-19 vaccine is 85 percent effective against severe cases of COVID-19, and that efficiency comes 28 days after the shot. None of the vaccines are effective immediately after administration (via Johnson & Johnson).

Johnson & Johnson had their vaccine tested in three different countries — the United States, South Africa, and Brazil, and its efficacy differed in each country. About 44,000 people volunteered for this phase three study. COVID-19 variants are popping up across the world, and one of them is in South Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, how effective is this vaccine in different countries and against variants of the virus?

The efficacy of the vaccine varies, but it's still extremely successful

The overall effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine varied from country to country, with it being 72 percent effective in the United States, 68 percent effective in Brazil, and 64 percent effective in South Africa. The CDC has reported new variants in South Africa, Brazil, and the United Kingdom, explaining why the vaccine was less effective in those areas. 

The good news is that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still performed well against severe cases of COVID-19 — 86 percent in the United States, 88 percent in Brazil, and 82 percent in South Africa. Meaning it can still prevent severe forms of COVID-19 effectively, which is important for reducing hospitalizations and deaths.  

Studies show that 28 days after getting the vaccine, no one was hospitalized, and there were no deaths, but in the placebo group, 16 people were hospitalized, and seven people died. The new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could have two million doses available after approval, and 20 million by the end of March, according to the Associated Press