What makes the J&J vaccine different from Pfizer and Moderna?

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Local health leaders have said since immunizations have been available, the best Covid-19 vaccine is the one that is available to you. Now ABC 4 is looking into the affects of each, especially after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine caused six people to get severely sick in the United States.

Local health officials say if even one person were to get severely sick from a Covid-19 vaccine, it would be a big deal.

They also tell ABC 4 they are proud of how the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration are handling this.

Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna are the three Covid-19 vaccines that were given emergency authorization use in the U.S.

“I want to reiterate what the CDC has been saying, which is we have two choices of Covid vaccine that are having no concerns,” says Intermountain Healthcare Dr. Tamara Sheffield.

The one not like the rest, Johnson and Johnson, which is now currently on pause, is made differently than Pfizer and Moderna.

“We know that now the demand for J&J will probably go down and people will probably be worried,” said Utah Department of Health Immunization Director Rich Lakin.

Lakin said people should not worry, because there are two other vaccines that have been proven very effective.

“I would rather have us over pause and over reevaluate the safety side of things rather than undervalue those triggers or concerns,” said Sheffield.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is made a more traditional way using virus-based technology.

Instead of using mRna like Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a disabled adenovirus to deliver the instructions to the immune system.

“The adenovirus one has been more traditionally used,” says Sheffield. “It had been used in vaccines longer and it was used in the Ebola virus.”

This adenovirus is in no way related to the Coronavirus. They are easier to manufacture than mRna-based formulas like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

They can also be kept at regular refrigerated temperatures, as opposed to the freezing temperatures needed to preserve mRna vaccines for long periods.

“It’s a big response and a big appropriate response.”

Sheffield said the CDC and FDA’s response is timely and added it should get ahead of any other future problems with Covid-19 vaccines.

The Astra Zeneca vaccine, which is not currently approved in the U.S., caused seven deaths due to blood clots in Europe.

Sheffield said that vaccine is made similarly to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

She added that if you have concerns, talk to a doctor and take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

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