First one-dose Covid vaccine is up to 72% effective, Janssen reveals – and UK has 30m doses on order

THE first Covid vaccine that needs only one shot is up to 72 per cent effective, Janssen revealed today.

The Government has already ordered 30million doses of the game changing vaccination, developed by pharma giants Johnson & Johnson.

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Trials in the US found the jab was 72 per cent effective, while those in South Africa – where the new and more contagious strain is prevalent – found it was 57 per cent effective.

Unlike other Covid-19 jabs, it only needs one dose to provide Covid protection and it can be stored at fridge temperature.

It also costs as little as £7 ($10) per dose, making it cheaper than some of the other vaccines – but about the same as two doses of the Oxford jab.

If approved, it would be the fifth vaccine available in the war against the virus.

JAB PROTECTION

The trials results also found the vaccine is up to 85 per cent effective in preventing the most serious coronavirus symptoms.

They said it "demonstrated complete protection against Covid-19-related hospitalisation and death as of day 28".

Tests from mass trials carried out in several countries also showed the jab to be 66 per cent effective at preventing moderate to severe illness.

Supplies of the jab, which is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus, are expected to arrive in the UK as early as July, with the rollout subject to approval.

This could take anywhere between two weeks to a month, now that the efficacy has been revealed.

Paul Stoffels, J&J's chief scientific officer, said: "These topline results with a single-shot Covid-19 vaccine candidate represent a promising moment.

"The potential to significantly reduce the burden of severe disease, by providing an effective and well-tolerated vaccine with just one immunization, is a critical component of the global public health response.

"A one-shot vaccine is considered by the World Health Organisation to be the best option in pandemic settings, enhancing access, distribution and compliance."

The 85 per cent efficacy rate in preventing the most severe cases "will potentially protect hundreds of millions of people from serious and fatal outcomes of Covid-19", he said.

He added: "It also offers the hope of helping ease the huge burden placed on healthcare systems and communities."

The UK has ordered 30 million doses of the vaccine from Janssen, which is the Belgium-based vaccine arm of US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, with the option of millions more.

The interim data will be submitted to regulators while trials continue, with the information fed back as part of a rolling review.

If this jab is approved this could significantly bolster our vaccination programme, especially as a single-dose vaccine

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "This is yet more good news from Janssen on vaccines.

"If this jab is approved this could significantly bolster our vaccination programme, especially as a single-dose vaccine.

"Once the full data has been submitted to the (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), they will consider the evidence to determine whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness & quality.

"We're rolling-out vaccines as quickly as possible across the UK, with more than 7.4 million people given their first dose so far."

He added that the news on both the Novavax and Janssen vaccines showed the UK's "approach of buying abroad and making here at home is paying off".

"I want to say a huge thank you to everybody involved who has helped get the UK in this pole position to protect our population and to make sure we get out of this pandemic," he said in a video posted to Twitter.

'LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL'

The encouraging news comes after it was revealed last night another vaccine, Novavax, is effective in 89.3 per cent of cases.

Professor Paul Heath, PI of the British arm of the Novavx trial, said today: "There is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, which is what we want, which is what we need."

Sixty million doses of the new jab will be produced in Teesside — as the EU is trying to scupper exports of vaccines.

Vaccines available to the UK

THE UK government has placed orders for seven different vaccines – totalling more than 300 million jabs

  • AstraZeneca/Oxford university – 100 million doses – Approved
  • Pfizer/BioNTech – 40 million doses – Approved
  • Novavax – 60 million doses – Efficacy released
  • Janssen – 30 million doses – Efficacy released
  • Moderna – 5 million doses – Phase 3 trials
  • Valneva – 60 million doses – Phase 1/2 trials
  • GSK/Sanofi – 60 million doses – Phase 1/2 trials

The drug, shown in UK trials to be effective against the Kent variant of Covid, was hailed by PM Boris Johnson.

The Government has secured 60million doses — which experts said was also 85.6 per cent effective against the sweeping UK variant of Covid-19.

It comes as a French firm is using a Scottish factory to produce another 60million doses of a promising vaccine.

It means 120million of the extra jabs will be UK-produced.

Meanwhile French firm Valneva has started large-scale manufacturing of its vaccine in Livingston, West Lothian.

Through its Vaccines Taskforce, the UK has now secured early access to 367million jabs.


 

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