People receiving the J&J vaccine may not need to be watched for allergic reactions


Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine allergy free? Experts say clinics may not need to watch patients for severe reactions for 15 minutes after getting the shot because it uses different technology from Pfizer and Moderna

  • Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine combines genetic material from the coronavirus with the genes of virus that caused colds to induce an immune response
  • But Pfizer’s and Moderna’s shot use new mRNA technology, or part of the virus’s genetic code to get the body to recognize the pathogen 
  • Because J&J’s inoculation is similar to other vaccines on the market, people receiving the shot may not need to be observed for allergic reactions
  • Some have speculated that there have been rare reactions from Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines due to a fatty compound used to coat mRNA particles
  • The FDA’s independent board of advisors is meeting on Friday to decided whether or not to recommend approve J&J’s vaccines 

Experts say people who receive the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine may not need to be observed. 

Currently, clinicians are required to watch people getting either the Pfizer-BioNTech shot or the Moderna shot for 15 or 30 minutes to see if they have any allergic reactions.

But the J&J immunization uses different technology than the other two jabs and is  commonly used in other vaccines on the market. 

This difference ‘may remove some of the constraints that have been in place for safety reasons with the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine,’ Dr Nirav Shah, deputy director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a U.S. CDC media briefing on Wednesday.

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‘For example, the observation period.’    

People who receive the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine may not need to be observed for allergic reactions because the shot uses different technology than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Pictured:  A woman receives a vaccine in London, UK, February 2021

The FDA's independent board of advisors is meeting on Friday to decided whether or not to recommend approve J&J's vaccines, which will increase supply as the U.S. vaccinates an average of 1.2 million people per day

The FDA’s independent board of advisors is meeting on Friday to decided whether or not to recommend approve J&J’s vaccines, which will increase supply as the U.S. vaccinates an average of 1.2 million people per day

J&J’s vaccine combines genetic material from the new virus with the genes of the adenovirus – which causes the common cold – to induce an immune response.

It is the same technology the company used to make an experimental Ebola vaccine for people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2019.

Comparatively, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines use a newer platform, part of the pathogen’s genetic code called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to get the body to recognize the coronavirus and attack it if a person becomes infected.

For both shots, the mRNA encodes for all of the spike protein found on the outside of the virus that it uses to enter and infect cells. 

Nearly 7,000 people had an ‘adverse event’ after being given either the Pfize or the Moderna shot, the CDC said in a study earlier this month.

Less than 10 percent of patients had a reaction like anaphylactic shock that was classified as ‘serious’ by the agency’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System   

Anaphylactic shock is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to an allergy from food, medicine or even a type of material.

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The immune system releases chemicals that flood the body, blood pressure suddenly drops, and airways narrow, which prevents someone from breathing normally.

Symptoms usually occur within minutes and include hives, a weak pulse, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and a swollen tongue or throat.

If not treated immediately, it can lead to death.

Currently, 45.2 million Americans - 13.6% of the population - have received one dose and 20.6 million - 6.2% of the population - are fully immunized

Currently, 45.2 million Americans – 13.6% of the population – have received one dose and 20.6 million – 6.2% of the population – are fully immunized

Some have speculated that the rare reactions are due to an ingredient called polyethylene glycol (PEG), a fatty compound used to coat mRNA particles.

Johnson & Johnson applied for emergency authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 4. 

The FDA’s independent board of advisors is meeting on Friday to discuss whether or not to recommend approving the one-dose jab.

Currently, 45.2 million Americans – 13.6 percent of the population – have received one dose and 20.6 million – 6.2 percent of the population – are fully immunized, according to the CDC.

If approved, J&J’s single-shot vaccine could help boost supply and simplify the U.S. immunization campaign and bring President Joe Biden closer to his goal of 100 million shots in arms in the first 100 days of his term. 



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