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Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine is both safe to administer and shows promising signs of immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Scientists randomly assigned 805 healthy adults, both between 18-55 as well as adults 65 and older, to receive either a vaccine or a placebo. Some dozes of the vaccine were low, others high. Some participants in the 18 — 55 age range also received a second dose.
Results were encouraging, with the majority of participants producing detectable neutralizing antibodies. Researchers believe these play an important role in guarding cells against coronavirus after 28 days, according to the trial data. By day 57, all volunteer participants had detectable antibodies, across all doses and age groups, and in the group of 18-to-55 year olds they remained stable for at least 71 days.
The most common side effects found in the trial were headaches, muscle aches, fever and fatigue, as well as pain at the injection site. Older participants experienced side effects less frequently, as well as participants who received lower doses.
Both phases of the clinical trial showed "sustainable antibodies" in participants, according to Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at J&J, in an interview with CNBC.
Stoffels added the results give J&J confidence of the vaccine's effectiveness.
If the vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, it would become the third vaccine in approved for use in the U.S. after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna vaccines authorized in December.