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Dr. Fauci says you shouldn’t worry about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe? Dr. Fauci wants to calm your fears

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Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to Congress on Sept. 23, 2020.

In this Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 Capitol Hill in Washington. Fauci has said the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is “safe and efficacious.”

Graeme Jennings, pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House adviser on the COVID-19 pandemic, doesn’t want you to worry about getting the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

  • Fauci called the vaccine “safe and efficacious” in an interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.”
  • “We’ve got to get away from that chain of thought. ... The only way you really know the difference between vaccines is by comparing them head to head,” Fauci said.
  • “We have three highly efficacious vaccines that are safe and efficacious. That’s the bottom line.”

Fauci said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine might not be as effective as the Moderna and Pfizer brands, but it still has a huge impact on the pandemic.

“It’s got greater than 85% efficacy (preventing) severe disease and critical disease, and there were no deaths or hospitalizations in any of the countries that were tested,” Fauci said, according to Fox News.


Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Saturday to recommend the J&J coronavirus vaccine for widespread use. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also authorized the use of the third COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, according to ABC News.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the vaccine, too.

  • “As a one-dose vaccine, people do not have to return for a second dose to be protected,” Walensky said, according to CNN. “In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures — so it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites, as supply scales up.”

Why it matters

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC that the new COVID-19 vaccine will prevent hospitalizations and deaths, which is most important.

  • “There’s a lot of different ways to try and do comparisons,” Gorsky told CNBC. “But when you really look at what’s the objective here? Keeping people out of the hospital. Keeping people from dying. We believe this is an incredibly important tool to be added, to health care systems let alone for patients around the world.”
  • “All of these vaccines are incredibly effective,” he added.