Johnson & Johnson Releases Efficacy Results of Vaccine Candidate

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Posted: Jan 29, 2021 9:40 AM
Johnson & Johnson Releases Efficacy Results of Vaccine Candidate

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool

Johnson & Johnson has released the results of its coronavirus vaccine. In short, it protects against COVID-19, but not as effectively as the two inoculations already approved by the FDA. Late-stage trials showed the Johnson & Johnson candidate to be 66 percent effective overall, and 85 percent effective against "severe" cases.

Johnson & Johnson said its late-stage trial in the U.S. and seven other countries showed an overall 66% effectiveness in its vaccine in preventing moderate to severe illness. It was also 85% effective against severe disease across all regions studied, the company said, and its effectiveness against severe disease increased over time with none of the vaccinated volunteers reporting severe disease more than 49 days after vaccination. (USA Today)

The first vaccine to be approved by the FDA from Pfizer-BioNTech was 95 percent effective in trials. Moderna's candidate was 94 percent effective in trials and received its FDA approval a few weeks later. Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots, which require two trips to the clinic, the Johnson & Johnson candidate requires only one dose. A second advantage is that it does not need to be kept frozen. Another vaccine being developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca has reported a 70 percent efficacy rate, but Germany has advised that individuals 65 years and older should avoid getting the shot.

Two other variants of COVID-19 have made their way to the U.S. in recent weeks. One is from the UK, which is reported to be 30 to 70 percent more transmittable and potentially 30 percent more lethal. Another variant, from South Africa, was reported in the U.S. for the first time in South Carolina on Thursday. Moderna released a statement this week with an assurance that their vaccine still protects against the new variants. 

In the wake of threats of the new COVID-19 variants, President Biden has announced a ban on non-U.S. travelers from the UK, Ireland, and several other European countries.

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