Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s trial will start immediately, with participants to start receiving doses on Wednesday. J&J’s single-dose vaccine trial will include at most 60,000 adult participants in around 215 US and worldwide sites.
According to Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels, the vaccine was developed by J&J’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. J&J is also the fourth firm to begin trials for a coronavirus vaccine in the US, following Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and AstraZeneca.
“Four COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in Phase 3 clinical testing in the United States just over eight months after SARS-CoV-2 was identified… It is likely that multiple COVID-19 vaccine regimens will be required to meet the global need. The Janssen candidate has shown promise in early-stage testing and may be especially useful in controlling the pandemic if shown to be protective after a single dose.”Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director
Compared to the first four vaccine candidates, J&J’s only requires one dose, making it potentially produce results faster.
“We’re convinced that a single dose could be very efficacious.”J&J Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Paul Stoffels
Additionally, J&J’s potential coronavirus vaccine produced promising results when tested on nonhuman primates and hamsters.
Stoffels also told reporters that early-stage trial data show that humans’ immune response can be compared to animals’. Results also showed that the vaccine candidate was well-received, with symptoms resolving in as fast as 48 hours.
J&J has also used human adenovirus technology in a vaccine approved by the European Commission to cure Ebola, Zika, and HIV potentially. J&J said that at least 100,000 people have already used the said technology.
With stage three trials beginning on Wednesday, J&J will soon determine whether or not the human adenovirus technology can prevent symptomatic COVID-19.
“As we do multiple vaccines and multiple clinical trials, we need to harmonize this process as much as possible… I think that that insight now is going to pay off for years to come as we address this pandemic.”Dr. Matthew Hepburn of Operation Warp Speed Vaccine told CNN
Hepburn also added that the trials would allow them to compare and figure out what will protect citizens from the virus.
Additionally, J&J has started producing the vaccine on a larger, industrial scale. It will allow the company to release the vaccine immediately if it gets authorized. Dr. Stoffels also told NY Times that he expects to have “tens of millions” of doses ready by the end of 2020. He added, “Then we can ramp up to many more batches.”
J&J’s vaccine, unlike Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, need not be frozen. It makes J&J’s vaccine candidate more easily stored and distributed because there’s no freezing requirement.
With high hopes, J&J’s vaccine, along with the other candidates, could roll out doses by next year, when authorized.