Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus vaccine appears to protect against the virus, but isn’t as effective as others, according to trial results from the company released Friday morning.
The healthcare product manufacturer said that in the U.S. and seven other countries the single-dose vaccine was shown to be 66% effective against moderate and severe cases of COVID-19, and up to 85% against patients with near-death symptoms.
The differences noticed in Johnson & Johnson’s study are mostly geographical. While the vaccine worked better in the U.S. with a 72% effectiveness, it failed to protect those South Africa who participated in the study with a 57% overall effectiveness due to how the virus is easier to mutate there.
“Gambling on one dose was certainly worthwhile,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, global research chief for Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical unit, told The Associated Press.
With some competing vaccines like the ones being distributed by Pfizer and Moderna shown to be 95% effective after two doses, the question remains whether J&J’s less-effectiveness is a consideration for the FDA to push out a higher number of vaccines on-hand.
According to the AP, “the company said within a week, it will file an application for emergency use in the U.S., and then abroad. It expects to supply 100 million doses to the U.S. by June — and a billion doses globally by the end of the year. J&J wouldn’t say exactly how much could be ready to ship as soon as U.S. authorities give the green light.”
The Johnson and Johnson study had 44,000 participants and tracked results over a two-month time period. The shot uses a cold-like virus as a “trojan horse” that allows the body to make copies of the protein and boost immunity to the real virus. The vaccines can be stored with normal refrigeration, unlike the vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna which requires subfreezing temperatures to remain effective.