Johnson & Johnson entered Phase 3 trials in the U,S. for its COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, which will encompass up to 60,000 adult participants within nearly 215 different sites nationally and abroad.

While other large pharmaceuticals companies have trials underway, Johnson & Johnson’s candidate is being studied as a single-dose vaccine, instead of the more typical two-dose. It was developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

“We’re convinced that a single dose could be very efficacious,” Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels told reporters on a call.

The company plans to run a separate Phase 3 trial with the UK government to study the potential effectiveness of two doses.


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Preliminary findings from the first two trial phases in the US and Belgium indicate that a single dose of the vaccine candidate causes an immune response large enough to move forward with large-scale trials. The newest phase will be conducted with the federal government’s coronavirus vaccine initiative, Operation Warp Speed.

Operation Warp Speed Vaccine lead Dr. Matthew Hepburn told reporters the vaccine study could provide additional information regarding immune response to the virus.

“It’s also going to allow us to compare, and that’s great for the Janssen vaccine but it’s also great for just truly understanding what will protect people from Covid-19, and I think that that insight now is going to pay off for years to come as we address this pandemic,” Hepburn said.

Stoffels said they plan to test the vaccine in children after it is proven to be safe in adults.

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