COVID-19 Update for March 5 – 11:15AMMarch 5, 2021
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine approved
With an announcement Friday morning of the authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Janssen Inc., Canada is the first country to authorize the use of five vaccines to fight the spread of the virus — two from AstraZeneca and one each from Moderna, Pfizer and now Johnson & Johnson.
The new vaccine is the first single-dose vaccine in Canada, and has the significant benefit of being stored and transported at regular fridge temperatures — between 2°C and 8°C — for at least three months.
At the outset, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is indicated for use in people over 18, but a clinical trial to test it on youth between the ages of 12 and 17 has been authorized by Health Canada.
Side effects are similar to other vaccines, including pain and tenderness at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, fever and chills, but the majority were mild to moderate and abated in a few days.
In clinical trials the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was shown to be 66 per cent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. The trial tested more than 40,000 people, with half getting the vaccine. Of those who received the vaccine, there were only 116 COVID cases and zero fatalities. The trial showed the vaccine provided consistent protection in all races and is effective against all known variants of COVID-19.