Nearly half a dozen COVID-19 vaccines will soon be on the market throughout the world. Those living in Philadelphia and other parts of the United States will likely receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine, or the Moderna vaccine. Each of these vaccines has nuanced differences. Though you might not be able to select the vaccine you receive, it is important that you receive a vaccine as soon as possible. The quicker the masses in Philadelphia and beyond become vaccinated, the sooner the pandemic will end. Let’s take a look at each of the coronavirus vaccines available to those who live and work throughout the greater Philadelphia area.
The mRNA Vaccines Made by Pfizer and Moderna
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are different from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in that they are messenger RNA vaccines or mRNA for short. In contrast, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a vector vaccine. Messenger RNA relies on genetic instructions stemming from the virus to communicate to cells within the human body to create the spike protein. However, the virus is not relied upon as a vector.
Another key difference between these two mRNA vaccines and the Johnson & Johnson vector vaccine is two shots are necessary as opposed to one. Keep in mind, there is the potential for the vaccine supply to decrease in the months ahead so everyone in Philadelphia should seize the opportunity to be vaccinated with whatever vaccine is currently available.
Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine: The Viral Vector
Though the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s efficacy rate is not as high as those of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it is still effective. Do not turn down the opportunity to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine simply because its efficacy rate is comparably low. The protection provided by the vaccine is quite helpful for yourself and also helps in the quest to mitigate the spread of the virus, ultimately making it that much easier to emerge from the pandemic with a healthy populace. The main advantage of this shot is it is a single-dose vaccine meaning there is no need for a subsequent shot weeks after the first.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is of the viral vector variety. A small component of the viral vector was replaced with genetic instructions containing the COVID-19 genes. This modification sets the stage for the human body’s cells to read the genetic instructions and generate a spike protein. The immune system notices the spike protein and creates antibodies that ultimately protect against the virus. According to the FDA, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 72% effective in the context of preventing the contraction of the virus. The vaccine is 86% effective at thwarting a severe case.
IMPORTANT: While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still under investigation, health officials lean toward resuming its administration since the probability of severe side effects associated with the vaccine is apparently lower than one’s chances of being struck by lightning.
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