As we enter the fall season, progression towards the development of a vaccination for the Coronavirus increases. Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is closer to completing the final stage of testing for COVID-19 vaccination.
For the last few months other companies like Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca have also been running clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccinations, however Johnson & Johnson clinical trials will reportedly be the largest.
According to NY Times “Although they are a couple of months behind the other so-called Phase 3 trials in the United States, Johnson & Johnson’s trials will be the largest, with plans to enroll 60,000 participants. And the experimental vaccine may have considerable advantages over some of its competitors, experts said. It does not need to be stored in subzero temperatures, and it may require just one dose instead of two.”
If Johnson & Johnson is able to develop a successful single dose vaccine, a solution to slowing COVID-19 outbreaks may ensue more quickly.
As noted by NY Times, “Only a Phase 3 trial, which compares the effects of a vaccine with those of a placebo, could determine if a single dose was indeed effective,” said Dr. Judith Feinberg, Vice Chairwoman for research in medicine at Western Virginia University. “But if it worked, that could greatly speed efforts to curb the pandemic.
Although Johnson & Johnson’s vaccination testing is happening rapidly, Johnson & Johnson utilization of an adenovirus in their vaccines formulation may be responsible for its potential efficiency.
“Adenovirus vaccines must be kept refrigerated but not frozen, unlike the two front-runner vaccines, by Moderna and Pfizer, which depend on bits of genetic material known as mRNA. The freezing requirement could make the distribution of those vaccines difficult, especially to places without advanced medical facilities” according to NY Times.
As pharmaceutical companies are still clinically testing their vaccines, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will distribute only the best one. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is gearing up for distribution of whichever candidate is proven safe first, having earlier notified states to prepare for such an event” according to Yahoo News.