Big Island Coronavirus Updates

New COVID Vaccine Could Prove Global Viral Deterrent

January 29, 2021, 4:15 PM HST
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Jim Lee, CEO and Emily Krug, Pharmacy Director receive Pfizer vaccines at KCH (PC: Kona Community Hospital)

A new covid 19 vaccine is on the way and could prove a global virus deterrent for two specific reasons: It requires one-shot only, and it can last in standard refrigerated conditions for several months.

Current vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna, and circulating throughout the United States, require two-shots. They must also be stored frozen.

Johnson & Johnson on Friday released a study of its one-shot vaccine that highlighted both positives and some drawbacks. It has been found 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe illness and 85% effective against the worst and most serious symptoms of COVID-19. Moderna and Pfizer boast approximately 95% effectiveness rates.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is also noticeably less effective against a mutated strain of the virus linked to South Africa, the presence of which has recently been confirmed in the US.

Still, health experts explained that inoculating as many people as quickly as possible with any vaccine will not only stem the spread of all virus variants, but will also decrease the chances for further mutations due to a lower incidence of the illness.

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The Associated Press on Friday reported that Johnson & Johnson will pursue emergency use authorization in the US within the week, with projections of producing 100 million vaccines for the country by June and a billion for the world by the end of 2021.

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Health professionals have confirmed more than 100 million COVID-19 infections worldwide since the pandemic began, including more than 25 million in the US alone.

At least 2.2 million deaths have been linked to the coronavirus across the globe.

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