Dr. Teng says the new Johnson & Johnson is pretty different from the Moderna and Pfizer, but is just as effective.

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – CW44 News At 10 spoke with a local virologist at USF regarding the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and how it’s different from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Just one day after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be delivered to Florida next week, CW44 News At 10 is getting a first local perspective on the newest Covid vaccine to be approved in the United States.

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Virologist Dr. Michael Teng with the University of South Florida (USF) says, “If we are going to knock down the pandemic and get into whatever our new normal is going to be, we have to make sure everyone is immunized.”

Dr. Teng says the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to be very helpful in getting people vaccinated, but it’s pretty different from the Moderna and Pfizer. He says Moderna and Pfizer are made from mRNA with a fatty casing. “The Johnson & Johnson is a little different. It uses a DNA, that basically encodes the same protein, but it’s encased in a protein shell that usually causes the common cold. It’s not a live virus, just the outside shell,” said Dr. Teng.

He says since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only one dose and typical recipients probably won’t have as many symptoms from the injection.

“It’s going to be more like the first dose of the mRNA vaccines, pretty mild side effects,” said Dr. Teng.

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He says with Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, there’s a reason why there are two doses. “They didn’t want to take a chance especially because it’s a new technology. It’s never been used before,” said Dr. Teng.

But the Johnson & Johnson vaccine went through a different process. Dr. Teng says, “the technology that’s used by the J & J vaccine has been used in a number of clinical trials already, so they had a pretty good idea of what kind of immunity they could establish with a single dose.”

He adds, the outcome of all three types of vaccines are the same. “All three vaccines are really good at preventing severe Covid hospitalizations and death and they are all pretty equivalent at being able to do that.”

If you had a choice of which vaccine to get, Dr. Tend suggests the vaccine that’s available first. “It’s not like you’re at a restaurant where you can choose chicken, fish or beef. You’re going to have whatever is served in front of you. By all means, whichever one you are eligible for, take that one.”

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Governor Don DeSantis says the state is currently working on where the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are going to be distributed to the public.