A press conference held by the Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday revealed that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is projected to be ready for distribution by the second half of February.
During the press conference, Doctor Slaoui, the U.S. co-leader of Operation Warp Speed stated, “We project single-digit million number of doses available in the second half of February… Remember, this is a one-shot vaccine, so this means millions of individuals fully immunized.”
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) January 12, 2021
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) says on their website that they obtained key genetic information on COVID-19 last January, and through collaboration with government officials, legislative authorities, and shared medical expertise from around the globe, the company has been able to produce a coronavirus vaccine with unprecedented speed.
J&J said it’s currently in phase three of its vaccine trials, which will determine the exact percentage of vaccine efficacy. The company said it is hoping for efficacy levels on par with the other two pharma giants.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are reporting efficacy rates higher than 90%, according to J&J.
While the J&J vaccine was not the earliest to be distributed, it is the first single-dose vaccine that will become available to the public.
Slaoui said the vaccine would be a “game-changer” in finally curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We feel more and more confident that [a] readout of [Johnson & Johnson vaccine] efficacy will take place during the month of January, and very likely that an [emergency use authorization] submission will take place during the month of January.”