College students should be first to get Johnson & Johnson vaccine


It’s finally here.

The third vaccine to get emergency approval from the FDA, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose that provides incredible protection against COVID-19. The vaccine has shown 66.3% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 infection, and it has also demonstrated 100% effectiveness in preventing severe disease or hospitalization. That means that on the slim chance that a vaccinated person does catch COVID-19, there have been no instances of that person showing symptoms severe enough to even require a trip to the doctor.

However, due to the lower efficacy numbers compared to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, there has been some vaccine hesitancy regarding the new J&J vaccine. Health experts fear that an increase in vaccine hesitancy would allow the virus to continue to spread at similar rates as it did last spring.

Even still, this vaccine is an incredible scientific accomplishment and is a major key to beating the virus. There are also a considerable number of advantages that come with a single-shot vaccine, most of which directly benefit young adults or college students the most of any other group.

For instance, many college students travel from state-to-state multiple times throughout the year, either to visit family, friends at other schools or for a spring vacation. Since the J&J vaccine only requires one dose, it is far more convenient to schedule and obtain immunity much faster. This is especially crucial for college students, more so than any other group.

Considering the fact that young people are dying of COVID-19 at a considerably lower rate than the elderly, it would make sense that the more powerful Pfizer or Moderna vaccines would be saved for those who are at the highest risk. Even though a college aged person is not as likely to face severe complications from the virus, they would still be at high risk of transmitting the virus. 

In February, the FDA released data that showed the J&J vaccine to have a 74% lower likelihood of asymptomatic virus transmission in a study they conducted. That means that a young person with the vaccine is at an incredibly reduced risk of giving the virus to someone else, bringing the world one step closer to herd immunity.

The best vaccine is the vaccine that is most available to you when you go to sign up. All are effective and incredibly safe, so there is truly no reason to avoid the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Vaccine appointments can be made at the IDPH website.

Caption: The soon-to-be vaccinated wait in line at a vaccine clinic. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is available at many clinics across the state, and appointments can be made at the IDPH website.

Photo credit: CNN

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