Johnson & Johnson announced this Friday that its single-dose vaccine is 72% effective in preventing COVID-19 in the United States, but that a lower rate of the 66% worldwide in the large trial conducted on three continents and against multiple variants.
In the trial of nearly 44,000 volunteers, the level of protection against moderate and severe COVID-19 was 66% in Latin America and only 57% in South Africa, where a particularly worrisome variant of the new coronavirus circulates.
Those results are compared to the high bar established by two licensed vaccines of Pfizer Inc / BioNTech SE y Moderna Inc, which were around 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease in pivotal trials when given in two doses.
However, those tests were carried out mainly in the United States and before the wide diffusion of new variants that are now the center of attention.
The main objective of the study of J&J was moderate to severe COVID-19 prevention, and the vaccine was 85% effective in stopping severe disease and preventing hospitalization across geographies and against multiple variants 28 days after immunization.
That level of prevention “will potentially protect hundreds of millions of people from the serious and fatal outcomes of COVID-19,” Dr. Paul Stoffels, J & J’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.
The company plans to apply for the emergency use authorization of the US Food and Drug Administration.
Public health officials have counted on the J&J vaccine to increase the much-needed supply and simplify the US immunization campaign.
Unlike the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, J&J does not require a second injection weeks after the first nor does it need to be kept frozen, making it a strong candidate for use in parts of the world with weak transportation infrastructure and facilities. insufficient cold storage.
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