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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine 66% Effective, 85% Against Severe COVID

Johnson & Johnson said that its single-dose vaccine was 66% effective in preventing COVID-19.

Published
COVID-19
3 min read
Johnson & Johnson said that its single-dose vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. Representative image only.
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Johnson & Johnson said on Friday, 29 January, that its single-dose vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

The vaccine was proven to be 72 percent effective against moderate and severe disease in the United States, the company said. The vaccine, however, was found to be 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease across all regions studied, 28 days after vaccination in all adults.

In the trial of nearly 44,000 volunteers, the vaccine was tested against multiple variants, and public health officials have recommended the use of it considering the vast spread of the pandemic.

The study showed the level of protection against COVID-19 varied from 72 percent in the United States, to 66 percent in Latin America. The concerning issue is that the efficacy has been proven to be only 57 percent in South Africa.

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J&J plans to seek emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration and already has plans to deliver one billion doses of the vaccine.

'Complete Protection Against Severe COVID'

J&J’s vaccine uses a common cold virus to introduce coronavirus proteins into cells and trigger an immune response, whereas the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use a technology called messenger RNA, reported Reuters.

The vaccine was found to be 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease across all regions studied, 28 days after vaccination in all adults. Efficacy against severe disease increased over time with no cases were reported among vaccinated participants after day 49.

The COVID-19 vaccine candidate demonstrated complete protection against COVID-related hospitalisation and death, 28 days post-vaccination. There was a clear effect of the vaccine on COVID-19 cases requiring medical intervention (hospitalisation, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), with no reported cases among participants who had received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, 28 days post-vaccination, a statement on their website read.

Low Efficacy in South Africa

Vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna showed around 95 percent efficacy in the trials, against J&J’s trial data that shows 57 percent in South Africa, reported Reuters.

In the J&J trial that was conducted in eight countries, 44 percent of participants were from the United States, 41 percent from Central and South America and 15 percent from South Africa.

The numbers made the J&J shares go down by 4 percent at $162.7 at 1700 GMT, while Moderna’s stock gained 8 percent to $172.80.

Several recent studies have shown that a South African variant of coronavirus has mutated in a few areas which is one of the reasons for the reduced efficacy of the vaccine.

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Inexpensive, Single Dose

Dr Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, told CNN that under normal circumstances, there might not be much of a market for a vaccine that is significantly less effective than two others already on the market.

But considering the extent of the pandemic and shortage of vaccines, he along with several health workers opined that a vaccine that is inexpensive, a single dose and has no cold chain requirements, will be received well in the market.

United States already has a deal to buy 100 million doses of J&J’s vaccine.

(With inputs from Reuters, CNN)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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