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J&J Reports Vaccine Results

A candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has a 66 percent efficacy rate in preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19, NPR reports. However, NPR notes the candidate vaccine was less effective against the SARS-CoV-2 strain recently identified in South Africa.

According to a press release from J&J, the Phase 3 trial spanned eight countries and included 43,783 participants, 468 of whom developed symptomatic cases of COVID-19. Overall, the company reports that their adenovirus-vector vaccine, which was offered in a one-shot regimen, had 72 percent efficacy rate in their US cohort, 66 percent in Latin America, and 57 percent in South Africa.

NPR notes that the results in South Africa are worrisome, as the variant identified there has since been found in the US. Vox adds, though, the vaccine had an 85 percent efficacy rate in preventing severe disease in all regions.

Health officials also tell Vox that though the J&J efficacy results aren't as high as those from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, they are still good and, as it is a one-shot regimen that doesn't require deep freezer storage, it could be more easily distributed.

J&J says it plans to file for an Emergency Use Authorization in early February from the US Food and Drug Administration.