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Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot Vaccine Safe in Trials: Report

Phase 1-2 trial of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate generates an immune response in patients receiving the shot.
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Johnson & Johnson’s  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report single-shot vaccine candidate has been shown to be safe and to generate a meaningful immune response in an early phase trial, according to a published report Wednesday.

A single shot of the vaccine “gives sustainable antibodies,” Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at J&J, told CNBC. The results have given the company “confidence” that the vaccine will be effective, Stoffels told CNBC.

The results of phase 1-2 trials were published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate is undergoing phase 3 trials as well to determine its actual effectiveness. Results from that study are expected later this month.

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If successful and approved the vaccine would become the third available to combat the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to rage out of control in the U.S. and much of the world.

Nearly 400,000 Americans have died of the disease, and more than 22 million have been infected.

A vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report won emergency use approval last month along with a second vaccine from Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report. Both require to follow up booster shots and are stored at very low temperatures, complicating the distribution and rollout of the vaccines. The U.S. is badly lagging behind forecast vaccination schedules which had called for 20 million inoculations to be administered by the end of December. Only about 10 million have, so far.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine requires only a single shot and can be stored at higher temperatures. However, its rollout is running behind schedule as well and will likely not begin in earnest until April, due to manufacturing delays, assuming it is cleared for use by the FDA.

Shares of Johnson and Johnson rose 1.08% to $159.60 in after-hours trade Wednesday.