Local health experts say new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be easier to distribute

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Nearly 4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are being shipped across the fcountrty just days after the FDA approved it for emergency use.

It’s the third authorized vaccine in the United States. The shot is the only one which requires a single dose. Vials can also be stored more easily than others on the market.

Local health experts explain the differences between approved vaccines.

Thomas Carey, the director of Pharmacy at SwedishAmerican in Rockford, says the shots have an efficacy rate near 70%. That’s not as high compared to Moderna and Pfizer’s. Carey believes that is because Johnson’s study looked at effectiveness against more contagious COVID-19 strains like one found in South Africa.

“It did have a great deal of success against the most virulent strains and it kept people out of the hospital and it kept people alive and that’s really the goal we’re trying to get to,” Carey said.

However, Carey says the vaccine would make health workers’ jobs easier.

“As a pharmacist, I can assure you that the logistics that go around organizing and scheduling the second dose, the refrigeration and freezing capabilities make distribution of the MRNA vaccines very challenging, so yes the newer Johnson & Johnson vaccine will make vaccination much easier, we welcome it.”

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