What Fauci said about J&J vaccine: ‘I would have no hesitancy whatsoever to take it’

Dr. Fauci urges Americans to get any of three vaccines available

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington.  On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Fauci announced the National Institutes of Health is launching research to understand the causes of lingering brain fog, breathing problems and malaise reported by many recovering coronavirus patients.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Fauci announced the National Institutes of Health is launching research to understand the causes of lingering brain fog, breathing problems and malaise reported by many recovering coronavirus patients. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning, urging Americans to trust the three COVID-19 vaccines that will now be available to them.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for an emergency use authorization. The J&J one-dose vaccine joins Pfizer and Moderna to give Americans three options.

Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said people should take the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine if that’s what they are offered.

“If you look at the efficacy against severe disease, it’s greater than 85%, and there’s been no hospitalizations or deaths in multiple countries, even in countries that have the variants,” Fauci said Sunday. “You now have three highly efficacious vaccines, for sure, there’s no doubt about that, particularly with the recent results from J&J.”

Here’s what to know about the J&J vaccine:

The J&J vaccine can be stored in a normal refrigerator unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines -- it’s not a mRNA vaccine.

Instead, the J&J vaccine uses a harmless, weakened cold virus to carry instructions into the body to trigger the immune response and a method developed a decade ago and used for an ebola vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky is a native Michigander. He used this Motown metaphor to describe the vaccine:

“Think of it as a car being made in Detroit with a basic chassis that had been used, and we took the different types of an interior and put it in for COVID-19,” said Gorsky.

Testing, efficacy

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been tested on nearly 44,000 people in United States, Latin America and South Africa. There have been no major side effects, including no allergic reactions.

It was 72% effective at preventing moderate and severe COVID symptoms and 85% effective at preventing the most serious symptoms.

That is less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that are roughly 95% effective, but those vaccines were also tested earlier before more variants may have been circulating.

Read more here.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.