Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Updates

Taylor Pepitone


September 15th, 2021

Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, has taken itself to the next level. Formerly known for their work in baby care, women’s health and much more, J&J expanded themselves by developing and producing vaccinations; more specifically, the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson, also known as the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was a substantial step in the right direction when it came to dealing with COVID-19. This is because J&J only requires one dose and seemed to be effective against the new strains of COVID-19. Visit the CDC website for more information regarding its effectiveness.

As per the CDC, the J&J COVID-19 vaccine has found to be 66.3% effective against all known strains. This is true for those who have not been infected with COVID-19 before receiving the vaccine.

After receiving news that J&J’s vaccine was approved, more than fourteen million people received their dose. This is when the issues started to occur.

According to the CDC, there have been reports of an increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

TTS is a syndrome that has been termed “vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT)” or “vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT)”. Most reports of this formidable condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, seems only to be present in adult women under 50 years old.

There have also been reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), which is a rare disorder where the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Most people fully recover from this, but others have been left with permanent nerve damage. The cases seem to be found mostly in adult men over 50 years old and are reported around two weeks after vaccination.

There has been a lot of discussion around booster shots of the vaccine. This is because J&J has been found to be less effective than the other COVID-19 vaccines.

According to The New York Times, about one of every 20,000 J&J recipients in Colorado was hospitalized with Covid at some point during recent weeks. It was one in 27,000 for Pfizer and one in 32,000 for Moderna.

While the threat of Covid is still very high, multiple student’s concern lies with the safety of the vaccine they received. Should they be worried?

Researchers have stated that the J&J vaccine still seems to be doing what it was designed to do, and that was to stop people from going to the hospital and being put in the I.C.U.s and dying. While there have been some adverse reactions and effects, the J&J vaccine has been determined to still be safe and effective.

There has been the question of if a second J&J shot is safe and/or effective. The New York Times says experts have long assumed there would be a need for a booster shot, especially with the new Delta variant.

Who should receive a booster shot? The New York Times says the FDA approved people over the age of 65, adults 18 and older at high risk of severe Covid and those who are at higher risk for infection due to their jobs.

Another question that has arisen is if it is safe for one to get Moderna/Pfizer if they have already received J&J. According to The New York Times, there is evidence that shows one would benefit from receiving another COVID-19 vaccination, but that is not to say that one would be approved for this.

Research is still being done on COVID-19 and its threat to us as vaccinated or unvaccinated citizens. The best thing one could do for themselves is to stay safe and do their research. COVID-19 can only be eliminated if people continue to protect themselves and others from it.

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