The J&J COVID-19 Vaccine: Dr. Buddiga Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions, Answered: The J&J Vaccine & CDC COVID-19 Update

With the recent approval of the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus vaccine for COVID-19, as well as the recent update to CDC guidance for those who have been vaccinated, many patients have questions about the vaccines, which vaccine to get, and what is safe to do once they have it. Here, Dr. Praveen Buddiga, leading Board Certified Immunologist by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a conjoint Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and The American Board of Pediatrics and founder of Family Allergy Asthma Clinic, answers some of the most common questions on this topic – and his hope for an end to this pandemic thanks to these measures.


What You Need To Know About the J&J Vaccine

After the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were approved for use, Dr Buddiga has shared information and guidance in his article. With the recent approval of the J&J vaccine, Dr. Buddiga is providing an additional resource with answers to some of the top questions he has received from patients and community members.


Should patients attempt to get a certain brand of vaccine or prioritize one over the other? Why or why not?

At this point, the key is to get vaccinated and follow mask protocols until at least 85% of the population is vaccinated. The consensus goal of the US vaccination task force is to vaccinate the American population in a timely, orderly and equitable method, respecting all ages, and placing higher-risk groups ahead of others. Beyond that, all three vaccines are safe & effective with very low side effect profiles. Patients should not concern themselves with trying to get a specific brand of vaccine and should receive any one of the 3 vaccines available to achieve immunity at the earliest date.


What is different about the J&J vaccine in comparison to the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines?

The main difference between these vaccines is the type of vaccine they are. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an adenovirus vector vaccine, whereas the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are mRNA vaccines. These mRNA vaccines have been around and in testing for a long time, so adjusting the profile of the vaccine from SARS-CoV-1from 2002 to SARS-CoV-2 – in 2020 was relatively quick once we had the genomic structure of SARS-CoV-2. Adenovirus vaccines take longer to complete due to the stability of the adenovirus and the gene segment needed for a successful immunization mechanism.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 2 doses, taken 3-4 weeks apart and take a total of about 8 weeks to reach peak immunity and require stringent refrigeration requirements ranging from -70 degrees celsius to -20 degrees celsius respectively. 

The J&J vaccine is a 1-dose protocol, with peak immunization at about 2 weeks after the dose and has relatively favorable shelf life with minimal refrigeration requirements.


Are the side effects worse from the 1-dose J&J Shot versus the 2-dose vaccines? 

After nearly 59 million American have been inoculated with at least one dose, the data does not show worse side effects with the J&J vaccine. The side effect profile is similar in all three vaccines – mainly local site reactions, fatigue, and tiredness that last less than 24 hours. In some cases fever and chills were also experienced, although these too were for less than 24 hours. 


Is the J&J’s vaccine less effective at preventing contraction of the virus, severe illness, or death? 

Yes, the J&J vaccine is extremely effective. It is 100% effective in preventing ICU hospitalization and death. It also, to a significant extent, decreases the chance of developing severe illness due to COVID by 86%.

All three vaccines do an excellent job of preventing severe illness, hospitalization and prevention of death. 


Will you be administering the J&J vaccine in your office?

Yes, as long as it is distributed by the County of Fresno. Vaccine distribution is completely under state and county control and, as a doctor, I have no say on what type of vaccine my office will receive. All three vaccines are extremely effective and I am ready and willing to administer any of them. 


Who is most suited for the J&J vaccine?

Anyone seeking the COVID vaccine can have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is also a great option for those who have had an allergic reaction to the mRNA platform of vaccine, or who have demonstrated an intolerance to Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) or other components of the mRNA vaccines.


What should I know about COVID treatments and the COVID update released on March 8th, 2021? 

The bottom line is: vaccinations play the most critical role in building herd immunity and placing eradication pressure on the COVID 19 virus, which is why anyone who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination should receive one. Once we get infected, our options for treatment are limited and there can be an unpredictable response to the illness and how it will respond to treatments.

The best offense is a great defense: vaccination and masking until the goal of herd immunity is achieved, which is when 85% of the population have been vaccinated. 


We’re Here To Guide You

We treat patients with asthma, allergies and other immunological conditions every day, and we know their concern of contracting more severe illness from COVID-19 is a source of stress and anxiety. We’re here to help our patients with calm, unbiased scientific information and support, and will be administering the vaccine in our offices.

Part of protecting yourself from severe illness as a result of contracting COVID-19 is ensuring your condition is under control and being managed effectively. To learn more about how we can help you with accurate diagnosis, early interventions and comprehensive treatment, reach out to us here.

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