New data from the Phase III studies of Janssen’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown 66% effectiveness in preventing coronavirus in participants.
The UK has already secured 30 million doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine which did not show any significant safety concerns and no serious adverse events in participants in the studies. Deliveries are expected in the UK in the second half of this year if it is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is yet more good news from Janssen on vaccines. If this jab is approved this could significantly bolster our vaccination programme, especially as a single-dose vaccine. Once the full data has been submitted to the regulator, they will consider the evidence to determine whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness, and quality.
“We are continuing to roll out vaccines as quickly as possible across the UK, with more than 7.4 million people given their first dose so far.”
A single-dose vaccine
Janssen has ongoing Phase III trials for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine regimen, but these results for its single-dose regimen are welcome news, as a single dose of a safe and effective vaccine would offer a significant advantage during a global pandemic emergency. A two-dose regimen may offer the advantage of enhanced durability in some participants.
The Janssen vaccine, which can be safely stored at standard refrigeration temperatures, works in the same way as the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, being designed to prompt an immune response including neutralising antibodies against the spike protein to eliminate the virus.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “It is encouraging to see more positive news about vaccines coming through so quickly – this time from Janssen. Only a few months ago there were doubts over whether a COVID-19 vaccine would even be possible – now five companies have published good Phase III results, three vaccines have been approved and over seven million people have received their first jabs.
“Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and I am once again grateful to all of the trial volunteers who have made these studies possible.”