Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine could be a game changer

The vaccine generated an immune response in nearly all volunteers, regardless of age, with just one dose

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine could be a game changer
Steven Cornfield/Unsplash

We could soon see another COVID-19 vaccine on the market.

Johnson & Johnson's scientists have developed a single-dose vaccine that is safe and appears to generate an immune response in all patients.

The team behind the vaccine published their results in the New England Journal of Medicine this week.

Doctors divided patients into two groups based on their ages: 18 to 55 and 65 and older. All patients received a high or low dose of the vaccine or a placebo.

After 28 days, nearly all of the volunteers who received the vaccine went on to generate antibodies to help defend against the virus. After 57 days, every volunteer had detectable antibodies, regardless of their dosage or age.

These trials were designed to test whether the vaccine is safe for adults.

Johnson & Johnson is currently holding a much larger trial to determine if the vaccine can protect against the infection itself. The company expects to release that data later this month.

If scientists can prove their vaccine is both safe and effective, Johnson & Johnson will apply for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the FDA, like Moderna and Pfizer did to jumpstart the rollout of their vaccines.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine become mandatory in America?

As more vaccines are approved and become easily accessible, many parents are wondering if the vaccine will become mandatory in America.

That's unlikely, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Fauci told Newsweek this month that he doesn't expect the federal government will issue a mandate regarding the vaccine.

He did acknowledge that in the future, businesses, organizations, and schools may choose to make the vaccine mandatory for employees, members, or students.

He likened the situation to how many hospitals require employees to be vaccinated against influenza and Hepatitis B.

"Here at the NIH [National Institutes of Health], I would not be allowed to see patients if I didn't get vaccinated every year with flu and get vaccinated once with Hepatitis [B]," explained Dr. Fauci. "I have to get certified every year…if I didn't, I couldn't see patients."

Similarly, it's possible that school systems may choose to require their students to be vaccinated. But that order would come from the individual school systems, not from the federal government.

Those scenarios are a long way off, though.

While we wait for a full-pediatric vaccine, let's continue to keep our families safe by maintaining social distancing, wearing our masks, and washing our hands frequently.

In This Article