Johnson & Johnson has begin the final trial of a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine on 60,000 person. The vaccine would simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals using two doses.
The company expects results of the Phase III trial by year end or early next year, Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said in a joint press conference with officials from the National Institutes of Health and the Trump administration.
In a telephone interview Dr. Dan Barouch, a Harvard vaccine researcher who helped design J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine said: “The benefits of a single-shot vaccine are potentially profound in terms of mass immunization campaigns and global pandemic control.”
“Big news. Numerous great companies are seeing fantastic results. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) must move quickly,” U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet.
J&J published a detailed study protocol for its phase 3 trial Wednesday on the company’s website, joining the three other vaccine makers that have made these study plans available in recent weeks after calls for increased transparency in the trials.
Stoffels said J&J started the phase 3 trial after seeing positive results in its phase 1/2 trial in the United States and Belgium. The company plans to release those results imminently.
Stoffels said it will take six weeks to two months to enroll the trial, and said the company hopes to get an answer on whether the vaccine works around the end of the year or early next year.