Johnson & Johnson vaccine tested on more than 500 participants through Rochester Clinical Research

Raven Brown
Updated: February 24, 2021 06:31 PM
Created: February 24, 2021 06:08 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is one step closer to emergency use authorization. 

Rochester Clinical Research tested it on hundreds of volunteers and doctors said if approved, this would help with the supply and getting more people vaccinated.

“This would be amenable to you know big vaccination clinics where you come in and it's just one shot and you’re done,” Medical Director Dr. Matthew Davis said. 

Johnson and Johnson tested 44,000 people in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa. 

Davis said more than 500 were tested in Rochester and said with this vaccine there's less worry about if it will degrade.

“Much less fragile than the other mRNA vaccines. It can be stored in a refrigerator for months, you can have it in smaller clinics and you can ship it all over,” Davis said. 

FDA scientists confirmed the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. Davis said don't let the lower percentage turn you away.

“This vaccine is still certainly very effective and any vaccine is better than no vaccine,” Davis said.

“We did have some that did end up testing positive for COVID as you will with any study and that helps to add to the numbers of efficacy,” sub-investigator and physician Jennifer Rowlinson said. 

“We also had some people that got sick that didn't end up having COVID and finding out that you know they got the vaccine and had a good experience with that.”

Rowlinson oversaw the trial and said they had volunteers from all backgrounds and said side effects were fairly mild. 

“Site soreness at the arm at the site of the injection maybe a little bit of body aches, low-grade fever or chills,” Rowlinson said. “We are finding that the Janssen vaccine is much more tolerable than the mRNA Pfizer or Moderna.”

Rowlinson said the one-shot does should also help in under-served communities. 

“The ability for someone to get to a vaccination site only one time as opposed to two or three, that's huge and it's only going to help increase the level of immunity in our community,” Rowlinson said. 

If approved, this would be the third vaccine in the U.S. to get Emergency Use Authorization following Moderna and Pfizer. 

On Friday, the advisory committee within the FDA will meet and look over the data and the final decision will be made in a few days.

Rochester Clinical Research has multiple studies going on and needs volunteers.

If you're interested in volunteering, click here.


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