Getting your COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Here at Kirsch Dermatology, we offer both the Moderna vaccine and Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19, as well as booster shots to enhance your immunity if you’ve already been vaccinated.
About the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Research shows that the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) vaccine is 66% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness and 85% effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness. It also appears to offer protection against severe COVID-19 caused by COVID-19 variants.
We offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for a few important reasons. Because it is a traditional vaccine platform, it requires only a single dose. The JNJ vaccine is also less immunogenic for those who are concerned about an aggressive response to treatment or those who have already contracted COVID-19 illness in the recent past.
Getting Your JNJ Vaccine
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose vaccine. It provides some protection by two weeks after vaccination. There isn’t enough research to determine whether JNJ vaccinated individuals with weakened immune systems would benefit from a second dose of this vaccine.
Note: The JNJ vaccine may not be ideal for females under age 40 years due to the rare association with thromboembolic events.
About the Moderna Vaccine
Research shows that the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness in the general population and greater than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness in people with health conditions such as diabetes or obesity. It also appears to offer protection against severe COVID-19 caused by COVID-19 variants.
We offer the Moderna vaccine for a few important reasons. It is the most effective treatment to protect against COVID-19. It has the most immunogenicity for those who want the best possible protection. Additionally, research has indicated that individuals vaccinated with Moderna may be half as likely to experience breakthrough infection as individuals who were vaccinated with Pfizer.
Getting Your Moderna Vaccine
The Moderna vaccine is administered in two doses, spaced from 28 days to 6 weeks apart. It provides some protection after the first dose. The CDC also recommends a third dose of an mRNA vaccine for people with weakened immune systems, as two doses may not help them develop enough immunity.
Note: The Moderna vaccine may not be ideal for males under age 30 years due to the increased risk of myocarditis/pericarditis.
Vaccine Booster Shots
The latest scientific studies show that after getting your COVID-19 vaccine, your protection against COVID-19 can decrease over time. Emerging data suggests that vaccine protection against COVID-19 infection in general, COVID-19 infection for those who live and work in high-risk settings, and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 infection can decrease due to waning immunity.
A vaccine booster can increase your immune system response and offer improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Dr. Kirsch offers vaccine booster shots based on the best available medical literature and the individual circumstances of each patient. You can choose to get a booster dose that is the same brand as your initial vaccination or a different brand.
When Do I Need My Booster Shot?
If you received your Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago, you may be able to get a vaccine booster dose. The CDC recommends a booster shot for all JNJ vaccinated individuals over age 18.
If you received your Moderna vaccine (both doses) at least 6 months ago, you may be able to get a vaccine booster dose. The CDC recommends a booster shot for all Moderna and Pfizer vaccinated individuals over age 65 as well as those over age 18 who live in long-term care, have underlying medical conditions, or live or work in high-risk settings.
We hope you find this information helpful. On appointment, we are available to share our advice and opinion to help further inform your decision-making process regarding COVID-19 vaccination.