By WVUA 23 News Reporter Lacey Beasley

The third and newest COVID-19 vaccine comes from Johnson & Johnson, and it’s rolling out this week.

This one-dose shot currently has a 66% efficiency, which Dr. Paul Goepfer of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said is right on par.

“The efficacy of this vaccine to protect against severe disease actually continues to increase after 56 days, which is the longest they’ve been able to look at it after the vaccination,” said Goepfer.

Currently, UAB is unaware if they will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and they are unsure of where in the state it will be distributed. But, Goepfer said wherever and whenever it is offered, people should absolutely take it.

“Because we have such difficulty with vaccine access right now, I’m sure everybody knows somebody who’s been trying to get a vaccine who’s in the 1-B and C groups,” he said. “This vaccine is absolutely a fantastic option if it were offered to you, and I would highly recommend that you take it and not wait.”

This vaccine is much easier to store and handle because it doesn’t have to be held at ultra-low temperatures like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That makes distribution more efficient.

But researchers are still unsure if it stops people from spreading the virus. Goepfer said that’s why it’s imperative that people wear masks even if they’re vaccinated.

“If we can just last until the summer and get everyone vaccinated who can get vaccinated, we can actually control it much better and prevent the rise of these different variants,” he said. “We won’t have to keep giving vaccinations on a regular basis.”

For more information on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, click here.

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