Important things to know about Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine
Two COVID-19 vaccines are already on the market in the United States Johnson & johnson (NYSE: JNJ) could join the club in the near future with his vaccine. The healthcare giant filed for emergency use authorization in the United States earlier this month. In this Motley Fool Live video registered on February 1, 2021, “The Wrap” host Jason Hall and Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss important things to know about J&J’s COVID vaccine.
Jason Hall: Keith, let’s go ahead and start talking about the latest coronavirus vaccines. We have a number of questions here to ask and let’s start with this one, because I can tell you that it came from me. This is the one that interests me the most.
With Johnson & Johnson, the mega pharmaceutical company just announced last week the results of the final stage of the study on its COVID vaccine. We have seen that the efficiency is much lower. You start from the mid-90s percent of Pfizer, Moderna in the mid-1960s, for J&J. Can you tell us what all this means? Can J&J still obtain emergency use authorization?
Keith Speights: Yes. Well, first of all, absolutely. I expect Johnson & Johnson to obtain emergency use authorization for their vaccine. The efficiency rate was lower than that of Pfizer or Moderna, that’s for sure. You’re right, Pfizer and Moderna had efficiency in the mid-90s. Johnson & Johnson achieved an overall efficiency of 66%. It doesn’t look great in comparison.
But there are few things to keep in mind with J & J’s vaccine. N ° 1, it is a single dose vaccine. They get this efficiency after one hit, while Pfizer and Moderna got their superior efficiency after two hits. By the way, J&J is also evaluating a two-shot regimen. The results will be available later this year.
The main thing to remember is this single dose. This is really important because you get the protection much faster and that’s great. It helps us achieve collective immunity, and I think that’s going to be an important factor for them to win the EUA very soon. The other thing to note with their vaccine is that in terms of preventing severe cases of COVID it was, I think, 85% effective.
Jason Hall: Law. It’s huge.
Keith Speights: Yes, it is excellent. I think we may have been a bit spoiled.
Jason Hall: I remember, Keith, that when we first started talking about it, the FDA expected anything that was 50% effective or greater to be considered excellent. We will approve it. We have to do something.
Keith Speights: Exactly. I think when Pfizer and Moderna came out with their 94%, 95% efficiency, everyone was like, “This is what we have to expect”. Look, our flu shots are only about 60% effective. For a vaccine to be over 90 percent, it’s exceptional, it’s staggering.
Jason Hall: Especially when you start to think of the people most at risk of this disease as being a fatal disease, I think it’s really important. Also, I noticed that if I remember correctly, they provided a little more data than in the United States, the effectiveness rates were higher.
Keith Speights: They were. This is the other thing to note with the results of J&J. These new variants that we were talking about earlier were in the mix for their clinical study to a much greater degree. We don’t even know how much of the new variance, if any, was part of the Pfizer, Moderna studies. Their results were notably diminished by their studies carried out in South Africa, where the effectiveness was only 57%.
Jason Hall: Law.
Keith Speights: But in the United States, the efficiency was 72 percent, which is better than their overall efficiency. It’s a good vaccine. I think it will be on the market soon. I think it will help make a difference. I think it will help us achieve this collective immunity. Whether it’s November or next year, whatever the case, I think this will be an important vaccine.
Jason Hall: Especially when you consider that this is Johnson & Johnson, in terms of the ability and scale to deliver a product to market, it just has to be something people need to pay attention to.
Keith Speights: Law. One interesting thing that most people might not realize about Johnson & Johnson is that they currently only have one approved vaccine.
Jason Hall: Wow.
Keith Speights: They have not been important in the vaccine market.
Jason Hall: It’s not their thing.
Keith Speights: It’s not their thing. They go for it, but it’s not their thing historically, but they’re so big. It’s the biggest healthcare company on the planet, and it obviously has the financial resources and the technical expertise to target any area. I’m glad they are getting into vaccines. I think this is a good thing.
Jason Hall: Their logistics just there is a simple scale. I think that’s really, really valuable in this area.
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