Humanity is pinning its hopes on popular American vaccines, as well as on drugs from other manufacturers in the fight against the pandemic. Alas, miracles do not happen, as well as perfect vaccines. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Today we will try to figure it out with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – how they work, what is the difference and similarity with other drugs to protect against coronavirus.
How do they work
Moderna is comparable to Pfizer / BioNTech, both of which are RNA vaccines. Principle of action: a messenger RNA molecule with information about the causative agent of the coronavirus, the SARS-CoV-2 virus protein, synthesizes this protein in the body at the cellular level and triggers an immune response.
Like AstraZeneca, Moderna must be administered twice at monthly intervals. Pfizer / BioNTech is also given twice, but there should be 3 weeks between the two doses. The advantage of Johnson & Johnson is that the intramuscular vaccine is given only once.
Where Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are vaccinated
Moderna has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it is already being used in the US under an emergency use authorization. This drug is approved for use in the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom. In the near future, it is planned to be used in Japan, South Korea, the USA, Switzerland and the EU countries.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been approved in the EU, US, Canada and India, but has been suspended due to cases of thrombosis. Yesterday FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Transmission) recommended to renew the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, removing all restrictions. The decision of the regulators was made on the basis of the recommendations of the expert council. Janet Woodcock, acting director of the FDA, announced it at a press conference on Friday.
Side effects of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines
A reaction to the Moderna vaccine may appear in the form of a rash, 4-11 days after the first dose. The New England Journal of Medicine published data on this, obtained by specialists at the Boston Massachusetts General Hospital. At the same time, about 50% of those who received the first dose of Moderna complain of similar manifestations after the second vaccination, but much earlier – after 2-3 days. The severity of the manifestation is comparable to the reaction to the first vaccination.
Other side troubles are possible – in the area of the injection, there is induration, redness, soreness. Such manifestations were detected in approximately 0.8% of patients (244 out of 30,000). After the second dose, the percentage of patients with side effects decreased to 0.2% (68 out of 30 thousand).
The suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to side effects was announced on April 13 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In the United States, 6.8 million people have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson. In 15 vaccinated women, from 18 to 48 years old, thrombi was found 6-13 days after vaccination, three of them died. However, as mentioned above, the use of the vaccine has already resumed.
Efficiency of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer
More than five effective drugs have been developed to date. The first was a vaccine developed jointly by BioNTech and Pfizer. She received permission from WHO for emergency use until the results of all the required tests appeared, but it is now considered the most effective and in demand in all developed countries.
The effectiveness of Pfizer / BioNTech is 95% after the first dose, while AstraZeneca can boast of 62% to 90%. Moderna has 92% efficiency, while Johnson & Johnson has 66-85% efficiency. However, it must be borne in mind that there is practically no 100% protection, besides, each organism is individual.