A few days ago, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a third COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use – the one developed by American medical giant Johnson & Johnson.
Unlike its predecessors that use a more juvenile mRNA technology, Johnson & Johnson vaccine works more traditionally by using adenovirus as a vector.
In this regard, the vaccine resembles the Ebola jab developed several years ago by the same company.
What makes Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 jab unique is its requirement of a single dose.
Most vaccines require two vaccine doses with a three to four-week span.
Unlike products developed by Pfizer and Moderna, Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed a significantly weaker effectiveness of 66 percent overall.
Yet, the vaccine received praise for its high 85 percent efficacy in preventing severe coronavirus cases and virtually full protection against coronavirus-related death.
Johnson & Johnson also manifested a high level of safety and tolerability.
FDA advisor Dr. Olef Levy told reporters that adenovirus-type vaccines have been used in more than 200,000 instances without causing any problems to the recipients.
The first vaccine to be tested on infants?
When discussing the approval of the Johnson & Johnson jab, FDA reportedly also discussed the company’s plans to test the vaccine on children under 18.
Allegedly, the company intends to start trials involving children between 12 and 18, eventually expanding them to involve each group of children under 18.
If studies of this sort begin soon, Johnson & Johnson will be the first medical company in the world to test its vaccine on newborns.
So far, Pfizer and Moderna began investigating the effects of their vaccines on children above 12, while China tested some of its jabs on children between 3 and 17.
AstraZeneca is expected to start its trial involving children older than six soon.
Regarding approval, only Pfizer’s vaccine has been cleared for use in children above 16.
FDA documents show that Johnson & Johnson aims to conduct even more comprehensive trials that will include pregnant women and immunocompromised people.
Many experts find the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the subsequent expansion of jab’s use more than welcome at the moment when the rapid acceleration of COVID-19 immunization presents a top global priority.