When could the next COVID-19 vaccines roll out?
ORLANDO, Fla. - Right now, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in Florida and in the United States.
Studies show both vaccines to be at least 94 percent effective. The problem is, there is not enough supply to go around.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been saying that the forthcoming Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help with the supply and demand issue. The big question now is when will their vaccine roll out?
On their website, Johnson & Johnson reports that the next step in the process is to review the efficacy and safety data from their trial, which they anticipate receiving by the end of this month.
"The trials have dragged on a little bit longer. The Phase 2 is taking longer. The phase three trial will be mid-February," said Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi.
Dr. Cherabuddi is an associate professor of infectious disease and Hospital Epidemiologist with the University of Florida Health. He has been reading all the research coming out of the COVID-19 vaccine trails.
The science behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines involves what is known as messenger RNA, mRNA. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses what is called a viral vector.
"So you’re taking a different virus shell and using a fragment of the coronavirus and making a vaccine. So it does take a little bit longer," Cherabuddi explains.
He said producing that takes longer than producing mRNA which could be why the studies are taking a little bit longer too. At the end of the day, Dr. Cherabuddi said they both do the same thing once injected.
"When you take things down to the most basic level, both of them are delivering and mRNA," Dr. Cherabuddi said.
The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines require an initial vaccine then a booster. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is just one shot.
Cherabuddi echoes the governor’s sentiment that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine will be easier to distribute and deliver because it does not need to be stored at extreme temperatures but can be stored in regular refrigerator temperatures.
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