Johnson & Johnson has kept its optimistic tone of the narrative following its announcement of the vaccine, which took place last Friday. Experts in the field, including Dr. Fauci, had expressed their hopes about the third vaccine, which requires only a single shot administration and can be stored in average temperatures of medical refrigeration. As an extension to these plans, Johnson & Johnson has now officially requested the US Food and Drug Administration to allow the emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine. If the request is approved, this will be the third effective vaccine in the United States market.
During its announcement of the official request, Johnson & Johnson spokesperson said that the step would be pivotal in putting an end to the pandemic. Although the new vaccine has a relatively low resistance towards the virus, some other aspects of the drug seem to address the limitations posed by the two vaccines active in the market. The company will have to wait until the US FDA considers the different aspects of the vaccine and reaches a consensus about whether it should be allowed for emergency use. Considering that the FDA has planned its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting on the 26th of February, the FDA investigation results would be published only by the end of March.
Therefore, while the public and experts are optimistic about the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, we are months away from seeing the same in the health sector. Whenever it becomes a part of the sector, though, the vaccine can lessen the burden of vaccine administration and associated logistics. As said earlier, unlike the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson can be administered through a single dose. More importantly, the new vaccine does not require extremely low temperatures for storage. It makes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more suitable for the varying situations across the United States and other parts of the world.
There are also a few differences between the vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer/Moderna. While the first two vaccines use mRNA to create antibodies in the body and prevent the impact of the Coronavirus, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be using the genetically modified version of a common cold virus that would be creating an antibody. Because of this altered design, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a global efficacy of only 66% and 85% when preventing moderate diseases and hospitalization and death, respectively. While this remains a concern for experts, the easiness of logistics outweighs this aspect.
While the FDA and CDC reviews are pending, the United States government has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine. This decision means the internal review from the government is optimistic about the new drug and that the company is confident about delivering such a high amount to the US health sector.