What we find out about J&J’s single-dose vaccine, set to reach on the finish of April

Canada will quickly add one other COVID-19 vaccine to its provide, with procurement minister Anita Anand saying this week that preliminary shipments of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose jab are to reach by the tip of April.

Canada accredited the vaccine in early March and had pre-ordered 10 million doses, however manufacturing issues from the corporate led to cargo delays to Canada and elsewhere.

Anand didn’t have particulars when she made her announcement Tuesday about what number of doses can be included within the first cargo.

Johnson & Johnson provides Canada 4 distinct vaccines — together with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca — and its one-and-done ingredient provides flexibility to the nation’s plan to immunize nearly all of its residents by September.

Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious illness knowledgeable in Mississauga, Ont., says that whereas the vaccines are arriving later than anticipated, they’re going to be a welcome addition to Canada’s rollout.

“A single-dose vaccine, in addition to the actual fact it solely requires an everyday fridge (to retailer it), that’s so large when it comes to taking this vaccine and bringing it to focused populations,” he stated. “I want it was (arriving earlier than) the tip of April, however I will take it.”

Here is what we find out about Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine:



Johnson & Johnson introduced promising outcomes from its Section 3 scientific trials on the finish of January, suggesting its vaccine diminished extreme COVID-19 illness by 85 per cent, and prevented 100 per cent of COVID-related hospitalization or loss of life.

The vaccine had a 72 per cent efficacy in stopping COVID infections after 28 days within the firm’s U.S. trials. The efficacy dropped to 66 per cent when averaging in outcomes from different international trials, together with a South African research that factored in additional transmissible variants of the COVID virus.

Pfizer and Moderna confirmed 95 per cent efficacy of their respective trials, however these had been examined towards earlier dominant strains and did not account for variants which have popped up since.

Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca additionally had zero hospitalizations and deaths of their trials.

Chakrabarti says it is necessary to differentiate the timing of the 4 trials, and careworn that all of them work exceedingly effectively the metrics that matter most.

“All 4 of those vaccines … are exceptionally efficient at stopping hospitalization and loss of life,” he stated. “These are the 2 issues that we care about.”



The benefit of distribution provided by a single-dose shot — not like the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca — and its capability to be saved in an everyday fridge are amongst Johnson & Johnson’s greatest strengths.

Pfizer’s vaccine initially required ultra-cold storage temperatures between -60 C and -80 C, although Well being Canada lately stated it may very well be saved in an everyday freezer for as much as 14 days. Moderna’s vaccine will also be saved at common freezer temperatures whereas AstraZeneca could be saved in a fridge.

Chakrabarti says Johnson & Johnson’s product is conducive to massive, cellular vaccine clinics that may be arrange shortly to focus on populations in hard-hit communities, particularly important employees.

“You may transport the vaccine there and simply growth, growth, growth, get it into individuals’s arms,” he stated. “The timing does not assist — we actually wished to start out (vaccinating) important employees as shortly as attainable … But it surely’s one thing you are able to do (simply) with J&J.”

Chakrabarti added that Johnson & Johnson may additionally profit from not having the string of complicated messaging surrounding it that AstraZeneca has had.

Canada’s Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has set age suggestions on AstraZeneca 3 times. The most recent advice is to pause using AstraZeneca in these beneath 55 because of uncommon blood clot hyperlinks that had been noticed in Europe.

Omar Khan, an assistant professor in biomedical engineering on the College of Toronto, says Johnson & Johnson may slot into the void left by provinces not utilizing AstraZeneca on these beneath 55.

“That (choice by NACI) successfully diminished our vaccine provide,” Khan stated. “However with this we will make up that lack of provide for that inhabitants and hopefully get us again on observe.”

The truth that Johnson & Johnson is already in use within the U.S. could give Canadians extra confidence in it, Chakrabarti says.

The FDA accredited Johnson & Johnson on Feb. 27, however shipments to the U.S. had been additionally affected by manufacturing issues early on. The majority of vaccine use within the U.S. has been Pfizer and Moderna.

“It is excellent once you see different nations having expertise with it,” he stated, including {that a} mountain of constructive AstraZeneca knowledge additionally exists from the U.Ok., in addition to knowledge from Israel on the excessive effectiveness of Pfizer.



In contrast to the mRNA utilized in Pfizer and Moderna’s merchandise, Johnson & Johnson is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine much like AstraZeneca’s.

Which means it makes use of a distinct innocent virus, which might’t copy itself, as a vector to offer our cells the directions they should make the coronavirus’s spike protein.

The immune system acknowledges the protein and makes antibodies, which then enable us to fend off assault if uncovered sooner or later.

Khan says it takes a pair weeks for the physique to construct up immunity with any of the vaccines, however these receiving Johnson & Johnson ought to particularly be aware of that.

“Sure, it is one dose so individuals would possibly say ‘one and finished, able to go,’ however you continue to want to offer your self the naked minimal two weeks,” he stated. “Ideally, give your self a month, and then you definitely’ll have a better stage of safety.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed April 1, 2021.

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