Lexington doctor outlines results of Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial

Published: Jan. 30, 2021 at 8:29 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A third vaccine could be on the way following trials around the world, including here in Kentucky.

Baptist Health Lexington was one of the places where the vaccine was studied. Dr. David Dougherty helped lead the trial there.

“Overall, the efficacy in terms of preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 was 66%,” he said. “In the U.S., it was 72%, overall including all of those sites, it was 85% percent effective in preventing severe COVID-19 at day 28.”

He said the main goal of the trial was achieved.

“It showed complete protection against hospitalization and death, that’s the biggest outcome of the trial,” Dr. Dougherty said.

Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine’s efficacy rate is lower than Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.

“I don’t want people to wait to get a vaccine, to get the Pfizer or the Moderna if they have the Johnson and Johnson vaccine available because we need as many people vaccinated as possible,” Dr. Dougherty said.

He explained this shot could make roll out easier.

“It can be stored easily, in a regular fridge temperature for at least three months, that’re going to have tons of vaccine sites that are going to be able to manage this,” he said.

This vaccine requires a single dose.

“You don’t have to reschedule somebody to come back, worry about giving them the wrong vaccine when they come back, you can vaccinate twice as many people,” Dr. Dougherty said.

He said of the 243 clinical trial participants at Baptist Health Lexington, many had minor to no side effects.

“A lot of people were surprised that they got the vaccine,” he said. “It was that mild and not a lot of severe reactions.”

Dr. Dougherty said Johnson and Johnson is also researching a possible second dose of its vaccine. He said the hope is that it would boost immunity even more.

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