LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Local and state health officials continue to warn about the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine supplies, but there’s hope on the horizon.
Dr. Edward Jones-Lopez, an infectious disease specialist with Keck Medicine of USC, says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which could be available in just a few weeks if it gains authorization from U.S. regulators, is just one of several lined up to hit the market soon.READ MORE: Silver Alert Issued For Izya Byk, 92, Last Seen In West Hollywood
“That’s the first vaccine that is a single dose,” he said. “And that in itself, logistically speaking, is enormously attractive.”
The pharmaceutical giant reported the vaccine was 66% effective against moderate and severe cases of COVID-19, and 85% effective in preventing the most severe COVID symptoms.
“Like we saw for the first two vaccines, it basically eliminates severe disease and death,” Jones-Lopez said.
And while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have a reported efficacy rate above 90%, Jones-Lopez said that kind of effectiveness is rare. As an example, he said the flu vaccine is roughly 75% effective — in a good year.READ MORE: Orange County Wife Asks Public To Get Vaccinated After Husband Dies From COVID
Jones-Lopez, who is part of the AstraZeneca trial taking place at Keck, says it was also showing promise.
“The first study to show that it may actually halt transmission,” Jones-Lopez said. “The more vaccines there are, the better.”
And Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, says the new vaccines are both safe and desperately needed.
“If approved, we’re hopeful this will help address the vaccine shortage,” Simon said of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.MORE NEWS: Target Joins Rival Walmart In Covering College Costs For Workers
Johnson & Johnson Thursday announced that it was seeking emergency authorization for its vaccine later this month when a Food and Drug Administration panel meets. As for the AstraZeneca vaccine, it has been authorized for use in the United Kingdom, but the company has not yet submitted the paperwork for authorization in the U.S.