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Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-dose coronavirus vaccine is 66% effective overall in preventing moderate and severe disease in a global Phase 3 trial, noting it is 85% effective against severe disease.
The vaccine’s level of protection varies by region. In the US, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is 72% effective against moderate and severe disease, but is down to 57% in South Africa, where a new variant, B.1.351, has spread.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is of notable interest, as it is a single-dose vaccine, compared to the Pfizer/BioNTech and Modern vaccines, already authorized for use in the US, that require two doses. Pfizer and Modern are much more effective, at around 95% overall.
Johnson & Johnson will still be useful, though. The Food and Drug Administration has indicated it would authorize a vaccine that’s safe and is at least 50% effective.
Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on Johnson & Johnson announcement on Friday:
“If we can alleviate that, that is really important, not only with this candidate, but the others that have already gotten the EUA. If you can prevent severe disease in a high percentage of individuals, that will alleviate so much of the stress and human suffering and death.”
J&J plans to ship the vaccine at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit, says CNBC. Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored in super freezers that keep it between -112 and -76 degrees, while Moderna’s vaccine has been shipped in temperatures between -13 and 5 degrees.
In August, the Department of Health and Human Services reached a deal with Janssen, J&J’s pharmaceutical subsidiary, worth $1 billion for 100 million doses of its COVID vaccine. The federal government also has the option to order an additional 200 million doses.
This is more good news. We are going to get through this, especially since more help is on the way.