(CBS4) – Johnson & Johnson could be close to filing for an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, but some have raised disappointment about its effective rate, which is 66% for preventing moderate and severe disease. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said he still considers it to be a game changer.
Hnida spoke about the vaccine on CBSN Denver and said it’s necessary to take a closer look at what those trials actually reveal about the vaccine, even at that effectiveness number which is far lower than the other vaccines currently available.
“No one wound up becoming sick enough to be hospitalized and no one died. In essence, this vaccine was just as effective as the other two vaccines in terms or preventing illness to the point where you wind up landing in the hospital, where you wind up dying from COVID.”
Hnida said it’s important to consider some other factors. Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccination, it’s easy to store and inexpensive to produce.
“It can sit in the refrigerator for weeks at a time,” he explained, “so there really is a very minimal risk of having doses lost or wasted.”
“I think this really has the potential to become a workhorse vaccine when it comes to vaccinating millions of people, the potential is there.”
Hnida said if someone told him he could have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine today versus a 4 to 6 week wait for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, he would take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to get that degree of protection.