New clinical trial data shows that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is able to give 66% protection against COVID in one dose – with an 85% efficiency at the standard double-dose
In promising new results from Phase Three, the American Johnson & Johnson vaccine appears to be a strong candidate for Emergency Use Approval. The company will apply for approval in the US by early February.
The UK has a contract to buy 30 million doses, with the US set to receive 100 million. The company is attempting to make a billion doses.
This news comes after the EU approved AstraZeneca for use, after a tense period of accusation and regulatory action.
The ENSEMBLE study
The vaccine trial, known as the ENSEMBLE study, registered different efficiencies depending on the country. This highlighted that the vaccine was less impactful against the South African mutation, with a 57% efficiency in the trial based there. However, the company say that overall their vaccine was 66% efficient against mutations.
The company further tried to use one dose to create an acceptable level of protection – which resulted in a 66% efficiency.
Alex Gorsky, Chairman, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson, commented: “We’re proud to have reached this critical milestone and our commitment to address this global health crisis continues with urgency for everyone, everywhere.”
In general, the vaccine was 85% efficient at preventing severe COVID.
The vaccine can be kept at a standard fridge temperature for three months, then at -20°C for two years. This means that an existing cold supply chain can transport the vaccines, and that more vaccines can be accessed with ease.
An anonymous Doctor spoke to us about existing infrastructure issues in COVID vaccination in the UK.
What about the COVID mutations?
This Johnson & Johnson news comes in the wake of the Novavax announcement, in which the vaccine was 85.6% efficient against the UK mutation of COVID-19. More and more drugmakers are testing their vaccines against the mutation, with several like Novavax promising a booster shot that would top up efficiency levels against these more infectious strains.
One of the emerging threats of this global pandemic appears to be that poorer countries will be continuing to create COVID mutations – as they can’t access the global vaccines market in the same way as notably richer countries, like the US and Norway. This marketplace inequality could make it difficult for the world to emerge from the omnipresent possibility of a new mutation, that will require a new booster shot or further lockdown measures.
Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson, said: “A one-shot vaccine is considered by the World Health Organization to be the best option in pandemic settings, enhancing access, distribution and compliance.”
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