According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) could join Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) in producing COVID-19 vaccines by the end of March 2021.
US to have 100 million vaccine doses by Q1 2021
Fauci said that more companies are receiving FDA approval for their vaccines and by the end of Q1 2021 vaccine availability could increase beyond 100 doses. The comments come at the back of the US FDA’s advisory panel approving an Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2. The FDA is likely to follow the panel’s advice which includes public health experts, scientific experts, and data scientists.
After Pfizer’s authorization, Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine could also win Emergency Use Authorization soon thus setting the stage for approval of two vaccines. Fauci says that the two lead vaccine producers could deliver up to 100 million doses early next year. Moderna and Pfizer could produce and distribute up to 40 million doses in December and around 60 million in early 2021.
Johnson & Johnson downsizes participants in ENSEMBLE study
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is in the final clinical trials stage and could bolster the number of doses available at the end of Q1 2021 and the start of Q2. Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that require two shots, the JNJ vaccine requires only one shot of the vaccine. The company recently announced the downsizing of its phase 3 clinical trial in the US because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the US. With the surge in infections, participants have the possibility of coming into contact with coronavirus and thus this allows the company to evaluate the vaccine in a small population of participants.
The company said that preliminary data from the ENSEMBLE study will be available in January 2021. If results show the vaccine to be effective and safe, Johnson & Johnson could submit an Emergency Use Authorization in February next year. Fauci is optimistic the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be available in the second quarter of 2021.