Johnson & Johnson confirmed that its first single injection vaccine blocks 66% of coronavirus infections and prevents 100% of hospital admissions and deaths among people who contract it.
Johnson & Johnson, the US drug giant behind this vaccine, also found that it prevented severe symptoms in 85% of the people and none of those who received the vaccine died or needed hospital treatment 28 days after being inoculated.
The 66% efficacy was a global average, with the vaccine preventing 72% of cases in the United States, but only 57% in South Africa, a region that is being devastated by a mutated variant that appears to be less susceptible to vaccines and immunity from older versions of the virus. However, it is promising that the vaccine has worked in South Africa and prevented hospitalization, reports the Daily Mail.
For its part, the UK has already secured 30 million doses of the vaccine, enough to fully immunize the same number of Britons because they do not need to follow the same dosing regimen as the other approved vaccines. And the country has the option to buy 22 million more.
SCIENTISTS PRAISE HER
Britain’s leading scientists joined in their praise for this vaccine. Professor Kevin Marsh, a tropical medicine expert at the University of Oxford, said: “The results of the single injection vaccine announced today are extremely encouraging. The particular strengths of the study are its size (more than 40,000 people), the distribution of participants in eight countries and three continents, and a wide range of ages ”.
“Some people may look at the reported overall efficacy of 66 percent in preventing moderate to severe Covid-19 and focus on comparisons with potentially higher reported efficacy for some other vaccines. This would be a mistake. The actual result of the title is that a single injection vaccine, capable of easy storage and long-term administration, provided complete protection against hospitalization and death. This is important because the immediate requirement of vaccination worldwide is to limit deaths as quickly as possible, “he added.
For his part, Dr Alexander Edwards, Associate Professor of Biomedical Technology at the University of Reading, added: ‘Today we hear more good news about the new Covid-19 vaccines. The exciting news regarding the Janssen vaccine is that this entire clinical trial evaluated a single dose, rather than the two doses used for all previous reported trials. The type of vaccine is similar to the viral vector AstraZeneca / Oxford, so it will require a similar manufacturing capacity ”.
‘We need to see more details and eagerly await the detailed results of the trial. At this stage, it is not possible to compare the protection provided by different vaccines; Each trial has different protocols, and a direct comparison is the only fair way to rule out whether one vaccine is better than another. As we begin to accumulate multiple data sets from many different trials, we can begin to understand what types of immune responses provide protection; this is still vital to quickly deal with other variants. ”
J&J said no safety concerns were raised in the trial that involved 44,000 volunteers, one-third of whom were over 65 and two-fifths suffered from an underlying health condition such as obesity, diabetes and HIV. There were a total of 468 infections recorded in its phase 3 trials that spanned eight countries.
Overall, the efficacy was 66% in all arms of the trial, but the vaccine was shown to be slightly less effective (57%) in South Africa, where it is feared that a mutant strain of Covid-19 will cause the vaccines to be less powerful.
Praising the early results of the study, Janssen (J & J’s Belgian arm) head of global research, Dr. Mathai Mammen, said: “One dose is definitely worth the gamble on.” J&J said it plans to apply for an emergency use authorization in the US within a week, before submitting applications abroad as well.
HOW DOES THE J&J VACCINE WORK?
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus).
The team modified the adenovirus so that it can enter cells but cannot replicate within them or cause disease.
Researchers have already used this technology to produce vaccines against various pathogens, such as influenza, Zika, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers).
After the J&J vaccine is injected into a person’s arm, adenoviruses enter human cells and travel to their nuclei, the chamber where the cell’s DNA is stored.
The vaccine is programmed to carry the genetic code for the coronavirus ‘spike protein’, which Sars-CoV-2 uses to invade the body.
It uses this genetic code to trick the body into generating an immune response, priming the immune system to attack the coronavirus if the actual virus infects the body.