Jan 30, 2021 – 09:41 Kyodo News
WASHINGTON – Major U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson said Friday that its single-dose experimental vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in a late-stage global clinical trial.
The company intends to file for emergency use authorization in the United States in early February and have the product available to ship immediately following authorization, according to its press release.
In the trial joined by about 44,000 participants, the level of protection against moderate to severe COVID-19 infection 28 days after vaccination was 72 percent in the United States, 66 percent in Latin America and 57 percent in South Africa where a worrying variant has been detected, the company said in a press release.
The vaccine was 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease across all regions studied in adults 18 years and older, and also demonstrated “complete protection” against hospitalization and death, it said.
In the United States, two types of two-dose vaccines were granted emergency use authorization in December — one developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE, and another from Moderna Inc.
Their efficacy rates, which exceeded 90 percent in clinical trials, were reported prior to growing concerns over what appears to be more contagious variants initially detected in Britain and South Africa.
Moderna, a U.S. biotechnology company, said earlier this week that its vaccine is expected to be protective against the variants, but that it is advancing a vaccine booster candidate against the South African strain into preclinical studies.
Pfizer and BioNTech also said earlier this month that early findings showed that their vaccine will likely be effective against the new variants of the coronavirus.