ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In the United States, two vaccines are widely available to the public: Moderna and Pfizer. In the next few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is examining the Oxford AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Why are there several different options?
“They induce antibody responses to the Coronavirus’ spike protein, so they induce immunity,” Dr. John Moore, professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, said.
Different COVID-19 vaccines deliver the spike protein in different ways, like different types of vehicles.
“They both get you from A to B, but the presentation differs,” Dr. Moore continued.
In the United States, the two approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are mRNA based, which is different from the other vaccinations.
“They encode the spike protein region of the Coronavirus and that’s delivered as a nucleic acid. mRNA is like DNA in this purpose. And they wrap that genetic material in a little ball of fat to protect it,” Dr. Moore added.
When the shot is injected into the arm, the cells begin to take in the protein, which generates an immune response. The various vaccines are created differently, but they accomplish the same goal. The Johnson & Johnson, Oxford AstraZeneca, and the Russian Sputnik V are based on the common cold.
“The J & J and the AstraZeneca Oxford and also the Russian Sputnik V are all based on adenovirus vectors and common cold viruses,” Dr. Moore said.
Side effects from the vaccine are worth it, Dr. Moore added, saying you may feel feverish or fatigued for a day or two. Alongside trials for new vaccines, there are also federal trials to see if people who already contracted COVID-19 need two doses of the vaccine.
“They may only need one dose of these vaccines. This is now being studied much more carefully,” Dr. Moore continued.
He also said it is too early to tell, but to be safe, everyone should receive two doses of the vaccine. Finally, he concluded by saying even if you are a week or two late on the second dose, it will be effective in preventing the worst.
To view our full exclusive interview with Dr. Moore, click the video below.