Trump hails Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine entering final trials

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President Trump on Wednesday hailed the “Big news” that Johnson & Johnson has reportedly entered final clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine that would require one shot.

“Big news. Numerous great companies are seeing fantastic results. @FDA must move quickly!,” the president wrote on Twitter, linking to a New York Times report on the development.

The Times article said the drugmaker entered the final phase on Monday and will be the largest – enrolling 60,000 participants – of other competitors’ efforts to develop a vaccine.

The vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson doesn’t need to be stored at subzero temperatures and may need one dose instead of two.

“It would be fabulous if we had something at a single dose,” Dr. Judith Feinberg, the vice chairwoman for research in medicine at West Virginia University, who was not involved in the study, told the Times.

She said the Phase 3 trials compare the experimental vaccine with a placebo, and if it’s determined that only one dose is required could speed efforts to halt the pandemic.

Dr. Paul Stoffels, the chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson, said Tuesday that the company may be able to determine if the vaccine is safe and effective by year’s end.