Johnson & Johnson vaccine shown effective against severe COVID-19 illness and variants

Clay Curtis
January 30, 2021

Novavax reported this week that its vaccine appears 89% effective in a United Kingdom study and that it also seems to work - though not as well - against new mutated versions of the virus circulating in Britain and South Africa.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said: "This is yet more good news from Janssen on vaccines". He said the company will meet the US order by June, and make a billion doses this year globally.

In the worst cases, valuable doses have been wasted or thrown out.

The company said within a week, it will file an application for emergency use in the USA, and then overseas.

People with some other conditions are also advised against taking the jab, including children under 16 (for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) and 18 (for Moderna vaccine), and those "with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine", said the WHO.

Johnson & Johnson's much anticipated one-shot vaccine showed strong protection against COVID-19 infection, the late-stage trial data showed.

"It is one of the pillars in ensuring that the incidence of this disease goes down in the community and hopefully it will go down further and further and we'll feel much more comfortable about returning to a normal life".

He told the BBC the manufacturing plant in Stockton-on-Tees should be up and running by March or April, with the company hoping to get approval for the vaccine from the MHRA around the same time.

But she said the NHS would be "ready to distribute [the jab] into people's arms" as soon as supplies are available. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

"A one-shot vaccine is considered by the World Health Organization to be the best option in pandemic settings, enhancing access, distribution and compliance".

All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognize the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it.

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The vaccine also had an impact on Covid variants, notably the South African B.1.351 version.

Even the South Africa variant, which has undergone the most worrisome changes, does not seem to be able to fully escape.

The Phase 3 clinical trials included about 44,000 participants in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the trial results as "fantastic news" and "one more step towards getting Britain vaccinated".

The UK has already pre-ordered 30m doses of the Janssen vaccine.

During trials, onset of protection was observed as early as 14 days after a single-dose vaccination.

The vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency and the first doses will start arriving here in the second week of February.

Like the Oxford vaccine, the Novavax jab can be stored at regular fridge temperature - which means it can be distributed more easily.

The company was expected to have doses available in the single-digit millions by the second half of February, Moncef Slaoui, the top scientific adviser to the Trump administration's vaccine development effort, said earlier this month.

With COVID-19 vaccinations that were about to expire and an ambulance to work in, they made a decision to offer the vaccines to other motorists.

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