LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Johnson & Johnson expects to release results from its Phase 3 clinical trial next week. If all goes well, the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine will likely be the next one available in the United States.
“By the time you get to Phase 3, you typically have a good idea of the safety,” Dr. Paul Schulz, infectious disease specialist and system epidemiologist at Norton Healthcare said. “We don’t expect too many surprises there.”
The need for another vaccine option is critical across the country.
“We need a third, a fourth, and a fifth vaccine,” Dr. Jon Klein of University of Louisville’s School of Medicine said.
Johnson & Johnson is trying to get emergency-use authorization from the FDA.
“It’s not the same as approval,” Klein said. “It basically says we think you can go ahead and use this in people. We think it’s safe enough, but it’s only in the context of or circumstances of a public health emergency such as a pandemic.”
Doctors who have been following the vaccine studies believe it to be promising and could be a game changer. Johnson & Johnson is pursuing the same emergency-use authorization as Pfizer and Moderna.
All eyes are on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of how it’s different it is from the existing ones.
“This particular product doesn’t have the freezing requirements that the Moderna and Pfizer products have,” Schulz said.
A big plus to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that you will need just one dose.
“For every dose produced you would have the ability to vaccinate one person,” Schulz said. “Whereas with the Moderna and Pfizer products it’s two doses per person.”
If all goes well, Americans could possibly get the Johnson & Johnson relatively soon.
“I would expect late February/early March,” Dr. Ben Klausing, an infectious disease specialist at Baptist Health Louisville said. “The government has already on order for 100 million doses of this vaccine that they purchased for 1 billion dollars. That order was put in over the summer assuming it gets FDA approved. We’ll have access to those doses.”
The University of Kentucky, Baptist Health Lexington, and Norton Healthcare all took part the Phase 3 clinical research study of the vaccine.
UofL’s School of Medicine also conducted a segment of a clinical trial.