The phase 1-2a interim results revealed that Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine called Ad26.COV2.S is safe and immunogenic after just a single dose. The vaccine is a recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector that encodes the full-length spike (S) protein found on the surface of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the agent that causes COVID-19. The S protein is the primary surface structure the virus uses to bind to and infect host cells.
The study involved healthy adults aged between 18 and 55 (cohort 1) and those aged 65 or older (cohort 3) were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine at a low dose (5×1010 viral particles [VPs] per mL) or high dose (1×1011 VPs/mL) or placebo either as a single-dose or two-dose regimen (separated by 56 days). Neutralizing antibodies were detected in 90% or more of all participants by day 29 following one dose of the vaccine and by day 57, this figure had reached 100%. A second vaccine dose boosted antibody titers by a factor of 2.6 to 2.9.
Furthermore, by day 14, the team had detected CD4+ T-cell responses in 76 to 83% of the participants in cohort 1 and 60 to 67% of participants in cohort 3. Local and systemic reactions occurred either on the day of immunization or the following day and generally resolved within 24 hours.
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