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Why you should consider the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 9:27 AM AKST
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(CNN) – The United States now has three COVID vaccines on the market.

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose shot was given the green light over the weekend, but some health experts worry Americans may turn up their noses at this latest vaccine.

Why?

In global trials, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine had a slightly lower efficacy rate than the other two on the U.S. market.

“There are advantages and disadvantages of all the vaccines and, actually, it’s hard to compare them side by side because they were tested at different times,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a physician and CNN medical analyst.

Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine was tested in South Africa where a variant believed to be more contagious was first identified. There, the vaccine showed a 64% efficacy.

In the United States, the vaccine showed 72% efficacy rate overall and against severe forms of the disease was even higher, offering nearly 86% protection.

“The endpoint that I think really matters is the endpoint of preventing severe disease,” Wen said. “Especially severe enough disease that causes hospitalization and death because, ultimately, that’s what we care about.”

Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine may also be effective against asymptomatic infection, but more research needs to be done.

“It’s a small data set looking at asymptomatic transmission, but it does give increasing evidence that getting the vaccine prevents you not just from getting sick yourself, but probably also reduces your chance of spreading the virus to others, too,” Wen said.

Bottom line, Wen said you should take “whatever vaccine is made available to you.”

Experts say the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is also a gamechanger because of the ease in which it’s administered.

Unlike other vaccines doesn’t have to be stored frozen.

That means it can be more easily kept in doctor’s offices and community pharmacies.

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