Results from early stage trials of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine are promising, showing the one-dose vaccine generates an immune response in nearly all volunteers, with minimal side effects.
The company plans to release more details in a few weeks, and apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA in February.
Researchers say Phase 1-2 of the vaccine showed either one or two doses of the vaccine generated both antibody and T-cell responses against the coronavirus. The vaccine’s efficacy, how well it protects against a COVID-19 infection or symptoms, is being tested in Phase 3 trials happening now.
The initial phases included about 800 volunteers in two age groups - 18-to-55 and 65+. Results were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The vaccine helped the body create antibodies, which are expected to stop the virus from infecting cells, in 90% of all participants by the 29th day after the first dose was given. All participantshad created antibodies two months after vaccination, whether or not they had been given a second dose.
The company saysthey are investigating the long-term efficacy of the vaccine with one dose versus two doses.
The study found common side effects were fever, fatigue, headache, and injection-site pain.
Emergency use authorization has already been granted to COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both use messenger RNA, a new vaccine technology.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different approach, called Ad26.COV2.S. Basically, it uses a weakened version of a common cold virus, called adenovirus 26, to carry genetic material from the virus into the body, and prompting human cells to produce pieces of the virus that are recognized by the immune system.