Are single-dose vaccines just as good as those that require two?

The only COVID-19 vaccines currently approved require two doses weeks apart, but what if you could get just one shot as we do with the flu vaccine?

Johnson & Johnson says it has created a one-dose vaccine that’s yet to be approved by the federal government.

Bonita Springs residents Nancy and Terry Meyer were ready as soon as the vaccine was. They headed to the Bonita Springs Library to try for their first doses in late December.

“There are already a half a dozen or more people camped out in chairs with blankets, that were going to wait overnight until the next morning at 9 o’clock for the injection. Well, at 85 and 84, we weren’t about to do that,” Terry said.

But they didn’t give up, and now, after weeks of effort, they finally scheduled their first appointment on Thursday.

“I will just tell you that the gentleman I spoke to just totally relaxed me,” Nancy said. “I said to him, ‘Please stay on the phone,’ and he did. He walked me through everything.”

“Yeah, once you got in,” Terry interjected.

“Yeah, he was very kind and very sweet,” Nancy replied.

That doesn’t mean their challenges are over – challenges like scheduling a second appointment.

“I assume I’m getting the Moderna vaccine and I hope that the Moderna vaccine will be available. I know you can’t mix them. So that’s a little frightening,” Nancy said. “I just hope that it will work out that everyone will get the second dose in the allotted amount of time.”

“She’s more optimistic than I am about it,” Terry said.

But soon, many of us will have access to Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine.

“The safety data seems to be very good, very favorable,” said Dr. Bindu Mayi, professor of microbiology at NSU’s College of Medical Sciences.

RELATED LINK: CDC info on the COVID-19 vaccine and the second dose

During clinical trials, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine created antibodies in 90% of participants.

Mayi explained that the vaccine is different from Moderna’s and Pfizer’s because it builds off technology already being used to stop other outbreaks, and it’s seeing success.

“We already have a lot of data on safety, on efficacy with the Ebola virus vaccine,” Mayi said.

“We’re using essentially that same platform, that same technology. But now, instead of plugging in key proteins for the Ebola virus, they have plugged in the key spike protein for the SARSCoV-2 virus.”

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which uses new MRNA technology, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a modified virus.

Mayi said it may be a few weeks – or sooner – before Johnson & Johnson submits their data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

How vaccines are made
Study on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine

RESOURCE: WINK News is working by the minute on a daily basis to bring our coverage areas in Southwest Florida the latest COVID-19 vaccine information from the counties you live in.

Visit our COVID-19 vaccine schedules and information for SWFL story for rolling vaccine updates.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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