A COVID-19 vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson has been showing mixed but promising results in its third phase of global trials released by the company.
The company released topline results Friday from its Phase 3 trial involving almost 44,000 volunteers.
Although the vaccine may now be less effective in preventing cases, J&J's vaccine was shown to be 89% effective in preventing severe cases of COVID-19 in South Africa.
Twenty-eight days after the shot, none of the vaccinated volunteers had to be hospitalized. "We would have said wow, a 72% effective vaccine that's even more effective against severe disease is really terrific", he added in a telephone interview.
Dr. Charity Baker, a family medicine specialist at Iowa Specialty Clinic, says she has faith in the vaccine and when it is approved for use in children, she would have no reservations about getting her kids the shot. "The real-world effectiveness of this vaccine is apt to be very high".
Health officials are urging people to remain vigilant until vaccines are more widely available by practicing social distancing, good hygiene, and wearing a mask.
"The same thing seems to be applying here, in a circumstance where this variant is clearly making it a little tougher to get the most vigorous response that you would want to have", Collins said. Janssen's AdVac vectors are based on a specific type of adenovirus - one genetically modified so that it can no longer replicate in humans and cause disease. And, those trials were conducted before the emergence of new variants of this infectious viral respiratory disease. One from Johnson & Johnson requires only a single shot.
A dose of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. George's University hospital in London on October 7, 2020.
"This is the first COVID-19 vaccine for which we now have objective evidence that it protects against the variant dominating in South Africa", Maddi said in a statement.
Testing in the US had a chaotic start, and experts say in many parts of the country it's still subpar. "We can see that we are going to be challenged".
That's not even enough to have even the most vulnerable groups protected, and states say they are running out of doses to give, while manufacturers are working flat-out to make more. Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA vaccines have to be kept frozen, necessitating a cold chain of distribution that poses an huge challenge in developing countries. Overall, reported serious safety concerns were greater in the placebo group than in the active vaccine candidate group, with no anaphylaxis reported.
But Fauci said that the more crucial measure was the ability to prevent severe disease, which translates to keeping people out of the hospital and preventing deaths. Analysts still see AZ and now J&J second in the vaccine race, with new tech from Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax all leading the way (and all seeing their stocks jump on the news). Just a minority of severe cases require hospitalization - so when it comes to preventing these hospitalizations, the vaccine has very high efficacy, which is exceptional for a cheap, single-dose vaccine. However, there were no cases of anaphylaxis detected in those trials either; the rare cases began emerging once the vaccines hit the market.
People waiting to be vaccinated may wonder if they will be able to pick and choose among vaccines, and if they should hold out and wait until the one that looks best to them becomes available.
The vaccine would be manufactured and distributed by its partner SII, with which Novavax has an agreement to produce around 2 billion doses a year.
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