New clinical data suggest that the pharmaceutical part of Johnson & Johnson confirms that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was able to stimulate an immune response that lasted for just over two months or 71 days among 805 study participants.
Announced via a Press release and published in New England Journal of Medicine, the company said its vaccine, called Ad26.COV2.S, elicited an immune response to COVID-19 antibodies after a single dose.
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Johnson & Johnson claims that just one shot of Ad26.COV2.S elicits strong neutralizing antibodies in over 90 percent of its volunteers in clinical trials.
These neutralizing antibodies work to prevent viral proteins from binding to human cells. A two-dose regimen was less reactogenic but triggered dual antibodies.
Upcoming Phase 3 clinical trials, the final phase of vaccine testing, will confirm whether a second dose will provide additional efficacy or shelf life benefits, primarily in the elderly.
Although all ongoing Phase 3 studies of other Covid-19 vaccines have evaluated two-dose plans, a single dose of Ad26.COV2.S elicited a strong humoral response in a majority of vaccine recipients with the presence of S-binding and neutralizing antibodies. in more than 90% of the participants, regardless of age group or vaccine dose, ”reads the published report.
Five serious side effects were reported, including one participant who was temporarily hospitalized with fever. Other common side effects were migraine, myalgia, fatigue and pain at the injection site.
As the U.S. government struggles to allocate available vaccine doses to initial populations, a single-dose vaccine that proves effective against COVID-19 exposure has “obvious logistical advantages over a two-dose vaccine, especially during a pandemic,” according to the study authors.
This may be due to how the vaccine is manufactured. CNN notes that Johnson & Johnson’s candidate, instead of using mRNA to communicate with human cells and arm them against COVID-19 pathogens, has an attenuated version of the common cold called adenovirus 26 to elicit an immune response to help the body recognize and fight COVID -19 particles.
In particular, Johnson & Johnson acknowledged that the lack of minority groups characterized the representation of study participants.
Despite the promising results in early trials, The New York Times writes that the company is behind the production, so the federal government is waiting for over 60 million doses. The company is said to be able to catch up with production in March.
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