Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday announced that it has begun Phase 3 trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine, making it the fourth potential vaccine to begin the late-stage trials in the United States.
The move adds to the array of potential vaccines that are being tested, with the hope that multiple candidates will prove safe and effective and help meet the enormous national and international demand.
While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not furthest along in the timeline, trailing candidates from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, it does have some potential advantages if it proves safe and effective.
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Unlike some of the other potential vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson candidate requires just one dose, not two, which would make a vaccination campaign easier. It also does not require storage at extremely cold temperatures, unlike some of the other candidates.
The company said the first doses could be ready in “early 2021” if the vaccine proves safe and effective.
Shortly after the announcement, President Trump urged the FDA to move quickly.
"Big news," the president tweeted. "Numerous great companies are seeing fantastic results. @FDA must move quickly!" Read more at The Hill