February 4, 2021

little by little

Progress is being made with the good news that Johnson & Johnson is applying for emergency use authorization of its one dose vaccine. That is very good news and means more vaccines available after approval. Lack of adequate supply of vaccines is really the limiting factor in the push to get as many people vaccinated as possible. The data for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is good, especially when looking at the end result of severe infections and deaths. Not easy to compare to the Moderna and Pfizer BioNtech vaccines because these more recent studies are done after the new variants started becoming an issue. The vaccine does seem to be effective agains the new viral strains, although less effective agains the South Africa variant, but it still prevented deaths and severe disease.

It uses a virus as the vector, an adenovirus to be exact. Adenoviruses along with other coronaviruses are some of the causes of the common cold. The adenovirus is modified, injected, which then attaches to and enters a cell and induces it to make spike proteins that then induce an immune response, very similar to the mRNA viruses. The advantage to this is that it is one dose and doesn’t require ultracold temperatures for storage so it is easier to transport so it can supply more rural places.

The FDA will have experts review the data and then meet on February 26 to make a decision.

Other news is that both Pfizer and Moderna are conducting studies of their vaccines in older children. Hopefully, the results will show they are safe and effective by the summer. At that point, children can be immunized which will move us faster toward herd immunity.

With the additional news of another vaccine with good data, the Novavax. I will sleep better tonight, knowing that these vaccines will start easing the burden we have all felt for the past 11 months.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and here are tips for improving your masks.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.