We're hitting the one-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic, but there's already been lots of good news this month: Almost 52,000,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the U.S. so far, infection rates are down in many places, and this Johnson & Johnson vaccine efficacy chart looks a lot like a giant erect penis. Nice!
Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist and associate professor at Harvard, flagged Johnson's big Johnson in a tweet on Wednesday:
Marcus said that the photo is from an FDA presentation of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (which you can read here).
The chart shows how effective the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is over time. This vaccine was just given FDA clearance, and unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that have been available to eligible people since January, this one doesn't require precise cold storage or a second dose. This chart shows that from day one of receiving the shot, the immune system gets absolutely sprung, reaching as much as 90 percent immunity against severe or critical COVID-19 within two months. Other studies have also shown rock-hard evidence that it's effective at giving coronavirus the shaft: it's 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19–related hospitalization and death.
The gray part surrounding the jutting line—making up the meat of the shaft, so to speak—is the "confidence interval," which represents the range of possible efficacy for the vaccine that the researchers are able to estimate, based on the data they have currently. The tip dips because they might not have enough data yet at that point after the shot, because there hasn't been enough time to collect it that far out.
The thrust of it all is this: The questionably-shaped chart delivers a load of good news. We're all horny at the idea of this pandemic ending (among other things), and thirsty for a drop of positivity.