SAN DIEGO — Johnson & Johnson executives expect to release data on the efficacy of its coronavirus vaccine by early next week. It sets the stage to apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a process that can take several weeks. The vaccine is highly anticipated because it only requires one dose and needs traditional refrigeration for storage. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines require two doses. Moderna’s demands freezer temperatures, while Pfizer’s needs ultra-cold storage. Both have presented logistical challenges for distribution.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine completed Phase III trials on 60,000 volunteers. U.C. San Diego partnered with the pharmaceutical company to help study roughly 2,000 San Diegans, including National City Mayor Alexandria Sotelo-Solis.
National City has the highest case rate of any incorporated city in San Diego County.
“We’re part of a bigger solution in stopping this pandemic,” she said during her final check-up of the trial. “If they get the thumbs up, which we’re hoping for, this will be another option for our community.”
Scientists are anxious to see the data from Johnson & Johnson because it may provide insight into its effectiveness against several new variants of COVID-19. Trials took place in the U.S., Brazil and South Africa.
“We'll let the data speak for itself, but what we will see was the relative efficacy against the wild type virus that is predominantly in the United States as well as the South African isolate, which in fact is something that we will be able to get a feel for the efficacy there,” said Anthony Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Johnson & Johnson has committed to supplying the U.S. with 100 million doses by the end of June. Estimated allocations by state have not been released.