A NEW coronavirus vaccine which requires just one dose to provide immunity has been deemed safe following clinical trials.
Johnson & Johnson's Ad26.COV2.s vaccine is unlike the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines in that it aims to give a good immunity response after just one dose; the three vaccines which are currently being rolled out across the world require two jabs, weeks apart, to provide full immunity.
Clinical trials in Johnson & Johnson's vaccine have so far seen promising results, with most volunteers in the study producing neutralizing antibodies within 28 days after receiving the trial vaccine.
In the study, the details of which have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers gave 805 healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 18 to 55, and 65 and older, a high or low dose of the vaccine or a placebo.
According to researchers, by day 57, all volunteers who received the vaccine instead of a placebo had detectable antibodies, regardless of their age group or the size of the dose, which remained stable for at least 71 days in volunteers up to the age of 55.
Some volunteers experienced side effects, and as with other coronavirus vaccines and flu jabs, the most common side effects reported were fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and pain at the injection sites; those in the older age group, and those who had received a lower dose of the vaccine, were less likely to experience side effects.
This data is from Phase 1 and 2 of Johnson & Johnson's clinical trial, and initial studies suggest the product is safe. The company is expected to release results from Phase 3-- which covered 45,000 volunteers-- later this month.
Earlier this week, The Irish Independent reported that Johnson & Johnson are expected to seek EU approval for the roll-out of their vaccine across Europe next month.
Top EU lawmaker Peter Liese said that the EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides told a group meeting for lawmakers that "vaccine manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is likely to submit an application for approval to the EU for their vaccine in February".
Should it be approved, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine could accelerate the vaccination programme as it requires one dose rather than the two jabs, spaced weeks apart, required from the currently EU-approved Pfizer and Moderna jabs.