A single dose of vaccine could soon protect against the coronavirus: Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is not only effective and safe, one shot is enough, confirms the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certifies the Corona vaccine of the U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson a very high effectiveness. In a large clinical trial, the drug prevented 85.9 percent of severe disease and 66 percent of moderate symptoms in the United States.
In studies in South Africa and Brazil, efficacy against severe disease was 81.7 and 87.6 percent, respectively, according to the FDA. Thus, the vaccine also appears to be effective against the South African and Brazilian variants of the virus, which are considered significantly more contagious.
Only one injection needed
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has lower efficacy than the BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already approved in the U.S., but could significantly simplify and speed up the vaccination campaign, experts say: Unlike the other vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s preparation requires only one injection.
In addition, the drug can be transported and stored more easily: According to the company, it can be kept for at least three months at temperatures between two and eight degrees. The BioNTech vaccine requires an extremely low temperature of minus 70 degrees for longer storage.
Regulatory submissions have been made
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses an adenovirus as a vector. This normally triggers a common cold, but has been modified so that it cannot replicate. Via the vector, genetic instructions are transmitted to the cells to produce a specific protein of the coronavirus. In this way, the immune system is prepared to fight the real coronavirus.
Johnson & Johnson had submitted an application for emergency approval of its vaccine in the U.S. in early February. On Friday, an FDA expert committee will deliberate on the approval. The company submitted an application for “conditional approval” to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week.