SAN ANTONIO – A third COVID-19 vaccine could soon be on the market to aid in the fight against the ongoing pandemic, and San Antonio leaders say they’re optimistic about having more options available for the public.
Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is easier to store and comes in one shot. The company plans to apply for U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency review authorization next week.
Johnson and Johnson recently released data showing the vaccine’s 66% efficacy, compared to Pfizer and Moderna’s 95%.
Johnson and Johnson says its new vaccine is 85% effective in preventing severe disease and demonstrated complete protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and deaths 28 days after vaccination.
Baptist Health System’s chief medical officer, Dr. Lynnette Watkins, said health care workers and leaders are always optimistic when they hear about an additional vaccine on the horizon. She says it’s an important development amid an ongoing pandemic.
Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccine provides an advantage over other manufacturers, making it easier to reach more people.
As variants of the novel coronavirus pop up in other countries, companies should be able to adapt, Watkins said. Moderna said it would make a booster shot for specific COVID-19 mutations.
“It’s important that the manufacturers continue to adjust and augment to those vaccines and really understand that spike protein and how it attaches to the cells in the body,” Watkins said.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said adding more supply to the market in any way through FDA-approved vaccines would be a good thing.
The FDA could sign off on Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine by the end of February.