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The United States now has three approved COVID-19 vaccine options to finish off the COVID pandemic. The first came from the drug company Pfizer, the second coming from Moderna, and this past weekend we saw approval for a new Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.

There are some major differences between these three vaccine options. The Pfizer and Moderna options are both two shot doses, while J&J is a single shot. The Pfizer vaccine is supposed to be stored in "ultra cold" environments, which most facilites don't have. Moderna's can be stored in an easier freezing temperature, with J&J being even easier to store and transport.

There were some questions about the effectiveness surrounding the J&J shot vs the others. With both Pfizer and Moderna being more than 90% effective against contracting COVID at all, while J&J was around 70% effective. However ALL THREE options have shown to be 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, which is the ultimate goal.

The country is currently on pace to have enough doses off these vaccine combos to vaccinate all Americans by summer. But now that date could be moved up.

This morning, news broke that pharmaceutical company Merck has announced they will use their facilities to scale up production of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Meaning Merck will not manufacture the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Merck will use two of it's US facilities to help produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through this historic partnership. This now puts Merck back into the COVID vaccine industry after they abandoned their own effort to create a vaccine.


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