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Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be a 'game changer'

Federal health officials are expected to approve distribution of a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. "This could be a game changer," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"It's a single shot," Nielsen pointed out. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.

"It can be stored in a refrigerator for  three months and a freezer for up to two years so it becomes very easy to distribute through typical medical supply systems, doctors' offices and so on."

While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a "little less effective" than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, Nielsen points out how it might prove to be more effective against the coronavirus variants that are emerging. 

"The J&J vaccine was studied in areas where the UK variant and the South African variant were already in the community," Nielsen said.

"We do not have that data for Pfizer or Moderna."

So, which vaccine should you get?

According to Nielsen, infectious disease experts across the country offered the same answer, "Take the one that is offered to you first."

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.