Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine against Covid-19 will keep patients from getting sick and hospitalized as a critical option for patients around the world, the company’s CEO said Tuesday.
In an interview Tuesday at CNBC’s ‘Healthy Returns’ spotlight event, Johnson & Johnson Chief Executive Alex Gorsky said the vaccine will be able to used by everyone around the world. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech unit submitted the vaccine to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week for an emergency use authorization that could be granted by the agency by the end of this month.
“They can have an option that keeps them potentially from getting very, very sick, to keep them from being hospitalized, and potentially to save them . . . from dying,” the Johnson & Johnson CEO told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell, referring to the ability of the Janssen vaccine to prevent serious illness and death.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, if it wins the FDA emergency authorization, would join vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer that are already being given to millions of Americans and tens of millions more people around the world.
Though there are worries the vaccines won’t be as effective against new variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom and South Africa and have begun to spread in the U.S., Gorsky expressed confidence Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine will help people from getting sick and hospitalized.
Further, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine only requires one dosage and can be stored in most “standard refrigerators,” which the company says could help reach medically-underserved areas of the U.S. and globally. Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines require two shots three or four weeks apart and specialized freezers.
“(Our vaccine offers) the convenience of a single shot that can be delivered around the world,” Gorsky said. “We think that’s going to be a really important option.”
Gorsky said the Janssen vaccine, once cleared by U.S. regulators, should alleviate vaccine shortages in the second quarter of this year.
“You combine that with the increased numbers that are being produced by Pfizer and Moderna, and those will result in significant differences that hopefully will alleviate a supply issue over the second quarter of 2021,” Gorsky said. “We’re working very hard around our manufacturing process, in building up the capacity.”