Vaccine trial and delivery
Johnson & Johnson is preparing to present the results of the final trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in the next week or two, according to Anthony Fauci, chief medical officer for infectious diseases in the US.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson rose in early trading on Friday, after the chief infectious disease doctor in the US, Anthony Fauci, said on Thursday that the company will provide data on the final phase of testing of its COVID-19 vaccine in the next week or two.
Shares in J&J have already risen after the company said last week that its vaccine was safe and elicited a meaningful immune response in 90% of volunteers in early-stage trials. The final test of J&J's vaccine was planned to involve 45,000 volunteers.
Approval of J&J's vaccine
On 12 January, J&J chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels said he was awaiting a decision from US regulators in March.
"We are continuing active discussions with regulators, including approval and validation of our manufacturing processes", the company said.
J&J board member Dr Mark McClellan said: "J&J is producing a very large supply, struggling to produce both here in the US and around the world, with the aim of getting enough vaccines for 100 million Americans by spring, around April".
If Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is approved by the FDA for use, it will have big advantages over Pfizer's BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which are currently approved in the US. The J&J vaccine requires only one dose and does not require storage at low temperatures.
"We have started production of our candidate vaccine and are confident in our ability to meet our delivery commitments for 2021", the company stated.
Covid in the US
Although the US has signed major contracts for vaccine supplies from manufacturers, the country is still behind the original vaccination schedule.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US has averaged around 883,000 vaccine injections a day over the past six days. Despite this, less than 50% of the 37,960,000 doses distributed have reached people.