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How effective is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against new variants?

Coronavirus cases are on the rise nationwide and so are concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines. 

According to a new medical study reported in the New York Times, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is "much less effective against the Delta and Lambda variants than against the original virus.” 

Dr. Alan Williamson at Eisenhower Health says while there is some concern over J&J’s effectiveness, it still provides significantly more protection than being unvaccinated. 

“Overall we’re still seeing extraordinarily high effectiveness of these vaccines,” he said. 

“For people who are concerned about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, would you recommend they also get vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna at this time?” asked News Channel 3’s Madison Weil. 

“That’s a good question and at this point, there is not much data to suggest that it would be worthwhile to start over again in essence and become revaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna,” replied Williamson. 

The new medical study in the New York Times agrees with Williamson, although the authors go on to suggest that those vaccinated with the J&J shot might ultimately “need to receive a second dose — ideally of one of the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.”

Dr. Williamson says one of the larger concerns for them right now is the number of young people coming in with serious COVID-19 symptoms — largely because here in the valley, vaccine rates are higher among the elderly.

“The cases that we will see with this variant, unfortunately, are likely to be younger people because they’re the ones that are unvaccinated,” he said. 

With the Delta variant proving more contagious and other variants potentially on the horizon, Williamson says he and his staff hope additional people elect to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus: Questions Answered / Local News / News / Top Stories / Video
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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.


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