Coronavirus: Johnson & Johnson vaccine shows high effectiveness

February 24, 2021
Keith A. Reynolds

Documents released by the FDA before they consider an EUA for the single-dose vaccine show that it is effective against COVID-19.

The Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine is more effective against a variant of the disease than initially believed.

According to documents release by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ahead of the Feb. 26 meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory the single-dose vaccine was shown to be 66.9 percent effective against moderate to severe or critical COVID-19 and is 76.7 percent effective in preventing severe or critical instances of the disease.

The company notes that the vaccine has been highly effective in the prevention of severe or critical COVID-19 caused by emerging strains of the disease with 73.1 percent efficacy in South Africa. This is a 7 percent increase in efficacy against the South African strain of the disease from what the company believed last month.

The documents say that the vaccine is also able to cause breakthrough infections in vaccinated participants to be milder and protects against asymptomatic COVID-19.

Yesterday, the head of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the drug development division of Johnson & Johnson, said that the company will provide 20 million doses of the vaccine by the end of March, according to The New York Times.

The Times report says that the executive believes that 4 million doses will be available once the FDA grants emergency use authorization, but White House officials told governors on a weekly call that only 2 million will be available next week.

Authorization is expected to be granted Feb. 26 bringing the number of vaccines available to the American public to three. Pfizer announced yesterday that it expects to deliver 13 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine a week to the U.S. by the middle of March, while Moderna plans to deliver more than 100 million doses of its vaccine by the end of March and 300 million by the end of July.