This single-dose vaccine called Janssen Covid-19, which can stored at refrigerator temperature, joins those of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna in the huge vaccination campaign in the United States, where the pandemic has claimed more than 500,000 lives.
After studying in detail the data from clinical trials, carried out in more than 43,000 people, a committee of experts had recommended on Friday that the US company’s vaccine be put on the market. At least three million doses of the “J&J” product are ready for distribution starting next week, according to the US government Johnson & Johnson has pledged to ship 100 million doses to the United States by the end of June.
With 600 million doses ordered in total from Pfizer and Moderna, the United States will already have enough vaccines by the end of July to immunize almost the entire population. But the addition of those from Johnson & Johnson could further accelerate the vaccination campaign. In total, more than 72 million injections have already been made in the country most affected by the pandemic in absolute value.
The “J&J” vaccine, the injections of which have already started in South Africa, is a “viral vector” vaccine. It uses another low virulence virus as a support, transformed to add genetic instructions from the virus responsible for Covid-19. Once in cells, a typical SARS-CoV-2 protein is produced, educating the immune system to recognize it.
“After rigorous analysis of the data, FDA scientists and physicians determined that The vaccine meets FDA criteria for safety and efficacy for emergency authorization.The director of the agency’s biological evaluation and research center, Peter Marks, said in a statement.
In clinical trials, the vaccine’s efficacy was 85.9% against severe forms of Covid-19 in the United States, according to figures released by the FDA. All clinical trial regions combined, was 66.1% against moderate forms of the disease, and in general “similar” for all categories of the population (ages, ethnic groups). The most frequently observed side effects were injection site pain, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain.