DORAL, FL – Johnson & Johnson vaccine has proven to be effective in severe COVID-19 cases enough to require hospitalization, according to a news release from the company.
The vaccine, that the company will place for authorization before the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, was 85% percent effective in preventing severe forms of the disease, reports WLRN.
However, according to a global study conducted in nearly 44,000 people in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa, the vaccine has a different effectiveness rate in preventing moderate to severe disease in each region.
In the U.S., it prevents the disease by 72% percent, while in Latin America, by 66%, and in South Africa, by 57%.
According to recent data, the vaccine was more effective in the U.S. than in South Africa, because an already reported variant of the virus, that is rapidly spreading, is more prevalent there.
USA Today reported such variant was confirmed Thursday to have reached the U.S., identified in South Carolina, although there is no evidence infections from the variant cause more severe disease.
But despite not having an effectiveness rate as high as that of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, that are both more than 94% effective, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has one advantage: it only requires one dose.
“Gambling on one dose was certainly worthwhile,” said J&J’s global research chief, Dr. Mathai Mammen, to USA Today.
It has been described as “game-changer”, reports the media. And it is not only because it requires one shot, but because it doesn’t need ultra cold environments, which makes its distribution through normal vaccine supply chains easier due to the fact that the step of buying expensive equipment can be skipped.
“These topline results with a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine candidate represent a promising moment,” said a statement by Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson, as reported by WLRN. “A one-shot vaccine is considered by the World Health Organization to be the best option in pandemic settings, enhancing access, distribution and compliance.”