Washington: Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine is entering the final stage of testing with a large number of volunteers.
The company is looking to give the shot to 60,000 volunteers around the world, and said that they could know whether it works as soon as December. J&J’s vaccine joins experimental shots developed by Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech, and AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford in beginning the final stage of development. Unlike these others, J&J’s trial will test a single dose. The other three shots are being tested as a two-dose injection, with a pair given a few weeks apart.
The healthcare giant started early-stage human trials in July in the US and Belgium. While results have not been published from those studies, J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said the results were positive and encouraging. “We are convinced that a single-dose can be very efficacious,” saying that J&J also plans to eventually start another late-stage trial that will test a two-dose injection.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, estimated that J&J’s data would likely come around December or January, while emphasizing that there’s uncertainty in when these studies will deliver results. Vaccine studies don’t necessarily deliver results after a pre-set length of time. Instead, the timeline depends on how many people get sick with the coronavirus over the course of the trial.