‘Game changer’ – LI doctors say new vaccine will be critical in COVID-19 fight

The vaccine can be stored up to three months at refrigerator temperatures – making it easier to handle than previous vaccines which needed ultra-cold storage.

News 12 Staff

Feb 28, 2021, 2:18 AM

Updated 1,140 days ago

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Medical experts say the nearly 4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be available sometime this week, possibly as soon as Monday.
Dr. David Battinelli, the chief medical officer of Northwell Health, says that would increase the amount of vaccinations coming to New York by about 200,000.
“We have been short of vaccines to date and we have been in a race to see how fast we can get people vaccinated,” he told News 12.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be the third vaccine to join the fight against the virus.
At first, officials said they were worried that the public would see it as second-class because it's a single dose and has lower efficacy rate – about 72% in the U.S.
But Dr. Battinelli says that does not make it a worse option because it appears to protect against some variants.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only a tiny bit less effective than original vaccines in terms of being able to contract the virus, but it is equally effective in being able to make sure you don't actually get sick from the virus and that is the critical point,” he says.
The vaccine can be stored up to three months at refrigerator temperatures – making it easier to handle than previous vaccines which needed ultra-cold storage.
Dr. Pamela Banks, a pediatrician in Merrick, says she would recommend it for her patients who are 18 and older.
“For college students, it would be much easier because it's one vaccine. They don't have to come back for second dose and leave school,” she says.
The FDA approved the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for emergency use Saturday.


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