Is the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine Safe?

November 30, 2022

5 min read

Introduction

The Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is a single-shot vaccine approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to protect against recent coronavirus attacks. The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) has also approved it. Read on to find out how the vaccine works, its benefits and the associated risk factors.

What is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is also known as Ad26.COV2.S. It is a single-dose vaccine, unlike Covishield and Covaxin, two-dose vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine received emergency and conditional authorisation from the FDA in early 2021 for use in people 18 and older.

Benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine include the following:

  • The WHO’s SAGE has assessed the vaccine’s quality, efficacy, and safety and approved it for emergency use.
  • The vaccine generates strong immune system responses against the coronavirus in the human body.
  • The antibodies created can last for as long as eight months.
  • Unlike other vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose injection, making it easier to innoculate a broader range of people, especially those living in rural areas.
  • It does not require ultra-cold storage and can be used and stored easily.
  • It is effective in preventing hospitalisations and death.

How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine work?

There are two parts to understanding how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works: the technology used to create the vaccine and the production of spike proteins in fighting the virus.

  • Use of virus-based technology over mRNA

If you’re wondering how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works differently from other vaccines, see below how the instructions. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine employs the more conventional virus-based technology, whereas the other vaccines use mRNA technology.

Other vaccines deliver mRNA, a tiny bit of code, to your cells. Your immune system learns from the code how to identify the virus that causes Covid-19 and fight it.

In contrast, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine delivers its instructions through an adenovirus rather than mRNA. The coronavirus is not remotely related to this adenovirus and is entirely distinct. Despite being able to provide information on how to defeat the coronavirus, the adenovirus cannot replicate in your body and will prevent you from viral infection.

  • The working mechanism of the Johnson & Johnson virus

After receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, your cells create spike proteins using the instructions in the adenovirus’s genetic material and then deliver it to the cell’s surface. The spike protein on the cell surface is visible to your immune system. The immune reaction leads to the production of spike protein-specific antibodies and immune cells. This prepares the immune system to identify and fight the coronavirus if we come into contact with it.

Risks associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Although the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is entirely safe and effective for Covid-19, there are a few risk factors:

Risks associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

 

1. General side effects

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Swelling at the site of the injection.

2. Allergies and anaphylaxis

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a rare yet potential risk of allergies. The allergic reactions may include swelling, rashes, hives and respiratory problems. Moreover, there are increased chances of having a severe allergic, known as anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swelling of the face and throat
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Risk of a rare autoimmune disorder.

Some recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may experience a rare neurological condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome. This disorder results in muscle weakness and paralysis when the immune system unintentionally attacks the myelin sheath, which is the barrier that shields the nerve cell endings, known as axons.

3. Blood clots

There is a slight chance that recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will develop thrombosis. It is a condition where blood clots form and block the veins or arteries and are also associated with low platelet levels in the blood.

How can I get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Here’s how you can get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

  • Government: There are numerous public vaccination centres in every state of India. Your state’s health department might be able to direct you to a centre administering Johnson & Johnson vaccinations nearby.
  • Private hospitals: You can look for a private hospital that administers the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

You will receive a vaccine card at the time of your vaccination that lists the vaccine received as well as the date and location of the injection. Keep this card safe and with you at all times for verification purposes.

Conclusion

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective for preventing and weakening Covid-19 and its symptoms. The common side effects of the vaccine may include fatigue, headache, pain or swelling at the side of the injection. To get your Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose, talk to your doctor or visit the nearest public vaccination centre.

 

References:

WHO Article

Healline Article

Medicalnewstoday Article

Webmd Article

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