When people ask me questions on Twitter, and in-person about boosters, emerging infections, and real-world effectiveness over the last several months, there has been one constant theme in the queries I’ve received: “How do you know if it’s working?”J&J seemed like a game-changer at this particular point in time. It has the potential to significantly boost capacity while also reducing supply chain problems. 

Moderna’s and Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines had higher reported efficacy, but it was still considerably less effective; clinical trials showed that it was 66 percent good at stopping mild to severe illness, 85 percent effective against severe disease, and 100 percent effective at preventing death.

The Positive News About Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 Vaccine

As a “one-and-done” vaccination, it would also benefit those who are afraid of needles, are reluctant to inject mRNA, or just do not want to return for a second appointment to be protected.

The Positive News About Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 Vaccine

But suddenly, everything came crashing down. Several factors contributed to J&J’s reputation as a third-tier vaccination, which some people still believe it is.

A very uncommon but severe blood coagulation condition was discovered as a potential adverse effect of the medication in mid-April. J&J’s products were recalled after a manufacturing error resulted in millions of dosages being thrown away only a few weeks before. Some immunization locations throughout the country have even begun to phase it out entirely.

The number of new individuals being immunized with this vaccine has reduced to a trickle in recent months. J&J probably felt that they were the forgotten ones among the roughly 14.8 million Citizens who received the company’s products. As time went on, it became more uncommon for Johnson & Johnson to be the topic of major news updates. In contrast, Pfizer, as well as Moderna, were gaining attention for the potential of booster injections.

Then, eventually, this week, we received some encouraging news about J&J. After a dismal summer wave of Delta, this was exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries. The J&J vaccination, according to preprint research published on September 16, maintained its efficacy against both symptomatic illness and hospitalization between March as well as the end of July, despite an increase in the prevalence of the Delta variation.

It seems that J&J is very effective against this new variation, based on this result. In other words, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccination has a long shelf life. With so much uncertainty in the world today, our analysis enables J&J patients to sleep better at night, despite the fact that they only got one injection.

A press statement from J&J on September 21 provided even more encouraging data, indicating that when combined with a J&J booster injection, protection against all types of Covid-19 is simply outstanding. 

Protection against severe or critical Covid-19 disease was almost 100 percent after an eight-week booster (albeit with a significant amount of estimation: the significance level ranged from 33 percent to 100 percent), and protection for moderate-to-severe Covid-19 disease was 94 percent in the United States after an eight-week booster (the confidence interval related was 58 percent -100 percent). In the case of a pandemic in which there is no known cure, 100 percent seems like a fairly reasonable bet.