Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine generated strong protection against Covid-19 in a large, late-stage trial, raising hopes that it can rapidly reshape a stumbling immunization campaign.
In a study of more than 43,000 people, the vaccine prevented 66% of moderate to severe cases of Covid-19, according to a company statement Friday. And it was particularly effective at stopping severe disease, preventing 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths.
“If you can prevent severe disease in a high percentage of individuals, that will alleviate so much of the stress and human suffering” of the pandemic, said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease official, at a briefing on the results with company and government officials.
Based on the result, J&J plans to file with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an emergency-use authorization next week. The drug giant’s top scientist said this month he expects a clearance in March, and that it would have product ready to ship then. The company didn’t specify how much of the vaccine would be available immediately, though it reaffirmed that the U.S. would receive 100 million doses by the end of June.