The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is slightly different from the others, which also makes it more attractive. She is the only one in an advanced stage of testing that proposes to immunize with just one dose, which, in practice, would allow vaccinating twice as many people. All others need two doses, so production yields less.
Preliminary data is encouraging. The results of phase 2 showed that after a single application, more than 90% of the volunteers produced an immune response against the virus. The vaccine also proved to be quite safe, registering only mild effects, such as fatigue, headaches and pain at the vaccine application site; they all passed quickly.
However, the production of an immune response is only part of the equation. What the 3 phase intends to find out if this response, with antibodies and production of other defense cells are sufficient to protect the volunteers. This is what is called the vaccine's effectiveness, calculated from the number of cases accumulated between those who received the immunizer and those who only received a placebo.
The Brazilian government has already shown interest in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There is already a partnership signed with the company to supply 3 million doses of the immunizer with delivery in the second quarter, possibly in May. Another 35 million doses are also foreseen, with 8 million expected for this year and the remainder only in 2022.
In the words of Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the country's dream for the vaccination campaign. In addition to the fact that it is a single dose, it can also be stored in a common refrigerator, which makes it compatible with the Brazilian distribution network. It is different from what Pfizer and Moderna offer, which depend on much colder storage and make distribution difficult.
To produce the expected response, Janssen uses a technique that has gained strength with the pandemic. The company is betting on the adenovirus viral vector platform, which is genetically modified to manifest Sars-Cov-2 proteins, but without the ability to produce the disease. It is a technique similar to that used in the Oxford vaccine, which already has a wide distribution agreement in Brazil.
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