Last March, I flew out to Las Vegas to attend the Mint 400 with BFGoodrich, and it was a blast. On my flight home, I noticed a couple of people wearing masks and gloves, and I just assumed that they were overreacting, as the coronavirus hadn’t become widespread yet. But just a few days later, the world went into lockdown mode, and I’ve been grounded ever since.
For someone who travels 200+ days a year for work, spending an entire year at home has been quite the adjustment. I watched a ridiculous amount of television, I reorganized my house, I did virtual happy hours with friends, and eventually I was able to start reviewing cars again, with the fleet companies delivering cars to my home to test out.
Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, with the COVID-19 vaccine being given to more and more people. Over the weekend, I was able to get the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, which means that in two-weeks time I’ll have full protection and can start living my life again. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a little normalcy, even if I’ve still got to wear a mask for awhile longer.
Since there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about the new J&J vaccine, I figured I’d try to clear things up to the best of my abilities, as a couple of my friends are pharmacists, and they were the ones who convinced me to get the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine rather than wait to get the Moderna or Pfizer ones.
The concern I had was that the J&J shot showed a lower efficacy rate in their trial, with their vaccine 66% effective in preventing symptomatic illness 28 days after vaccination, compared to about 95% for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Obviously, 95% > 66%, right?
But it’s important to remember that 66% is still a high number, as the flu vaccine only reduces the risk of illness by 40% to 60%. In addition, the Johnson and Johnson trial was done at a later date, when variants were more widespread, so that can skew the numbers as well, since these new variants have proved to be more resistant and such. The CDC has more information on the J&J vaccine here.
At the end of the day, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 100% effective in preventing death or hospitalization, it appears to protect against several variants of the virus, and because they’ve cranked up production, it’s going to be easier to get. Plus, it’s just a single shot, so no waiting 3-4 weeks for your second shot. For me, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. The only side effects I experienced were a few headaches, and I was pretty tired for a day or two.
Here’s hoping that everyone can get their COVID-19 vaccine sooner than later so that we can reach herd immunity and life can get back to normal. 💉
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