Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine 85% effective against severe COVID-19 disease

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The drugmaker released data on its phase 3 trials and the vaccine could be in use as soon as late February.

In another promising development for vaccine science, Johnson & Johnson says its vaccine — a single shot tested against a complex barrage of newly emerged variants — is 66% effective at preventing symptomatic disease and 85% effective against preventing severe illness.

A team of scientists at the company were “elated” and “joyful” when they saw the results, Dr. Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., the global head of Janssen Research & Development, told ABC News.

We’re a single shot … And now we’ve produced data that say that our vaccine is highly effective, 85% effective against severe COVID, 100% effective against hospitalization or death,” Mammen said.

In a press release, Johnson & Johnson said the vaccine is also safe to take. Volunteers experienced mild reactions after the shot, with less than 10% experiencing fever.

The full data package will be made publicly available and will be evaluated by the FDA’s advisory committee sometime in mid- to late February.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it will consider a vaccine that’s more than 50% effective, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine exceeds this threshold. An emergency use authorization could be given and people could start receiving shots before the end of February.

With its single-shot administration and more convenient transportation and storage requirements, Mammen calls it a “workhorse vaccine.”

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