Johnson & Johnson promises 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by June
New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination program could get a much-needed shot in the arm if Johnson & Johnson gets emergency approval for its vaccine.
The Food & Drug Administration is currently reviewing the candidate for emergency use authorization.
The New Brunswick-based company is promising to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine by June.
Vaccine trials took place with volunteers in eight countries. One of the 200 locations was at Rutgers University where 840 people took part in the study. Dr. Jeffrey Carson with the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School was the lead investigator.
“The state could, if we had more vaccine, administer 400,000 doses per day. So, supply is a huge problem,” he says.
Johnson & Johnson’s offering with 85% efficacy could help solve this supply problem if the doses are added to New Jersey’s supply. Carson says that as with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the results he saw were positive.
“We’ve seen very few side effects,” he says. “Some people have fatigue. Some have fever in general. This has been very well tolerated.”
The advantage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it only requires one dose, can be contained in a normal refrigerator, and efficacy can be had in 7-10 days after receiving the dose.
Unlike Pfizer and Moderna which use an MRNA to stop COVID in the body, Johnson & Johnson uses an adenovirus. It carries a gene from the coronavirus to help the body fight infection. News 12 asked Dr. Carson if one is better than the other.
“I don’t think the basic design of the vaccine is as important as what does the data show. What’s its efficacy? What is the side effect?” Carson says.
Studies currently show the efficacy of all three vaccines is excellent and side effects are minimal.
But Carson says that we need to be wary of COVID variants. He says that companies are now working on booster shots to address any changes the virus may show.