Johnson & Johnson Seeks Emergency Use Authorization For Its COVID-19 Vaccine
Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COIVD-19 vaccine has been shown to be 66% effective in preventing moderate to severe cases of the virus in a global clinical trial. In those with very severe symptoms, the vaccine is 85% effective. The company is now seeking an Emergency Use Authorization in the United States.
While already-approved vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are more than 95% effective, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that vaccines like Johnson & Johnson’s can help mediate supply bottlenecks occurring in the U.S.
“If we can alleviate that, that is really important – not only with this candidate, but the others that have already gotten the EUA,” Fauci told reporters Friday. “If you can prevent severe disease in a high percentage of individuals, that will alleviate so much of the stress and human suffering and death.”
In the third global trial, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed varied rates of effectiveness. While 72% were successful in the United States, only 57% were effective in South Africa. Ninety-five percent of the cases in the South Africa trial were caused by a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 called B.1.1351. Researchers believe that B.1.1351 is less susceptible to antibody immune system response. Dr. Mathai Mammen, Johnson & Johnson’s head of global research and development, told CNN regarding B.1.1351 that “we have a lower protection against milder forms of COVID than we did in the United States, where there were more typical circulating variants.”
Johnson & Johnson has formally applied for emergency use authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine this week. The vaccine could be approved as soon as late February.