Story at a glance

  • Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday its Phase 1/2a human clinical trial for a possible coronavirus vaccine will kick off in the second half of July.
  • The early stage trial will test the vaccine on 1,045 adults ages 18 to 55, as well as adults aged 65 and older.
  • The news from Johnson & Johnson comes as the final testing stage for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna is also set to begin in July.

Johnson & Johnson is set to begin its early stage human trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine earlier than expected. 

The company, which began developing a coronavirus vaccine in January, announced Wednesday its Phase 1/2a human clinical trial for the possible coronavirus vaccine will kick off in the second half of July, earlier than its initial target of September. 


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“Based on the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant,” Johnson & Johnson’s Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said in a statement. “Our goal is to ensure we can deliver a vaccine to the world and protect people everywhere from this pandemic.”


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The company said earlier this year it could produce 600 million to 900 million doses by April 2021 if the vaccine is safe and effective, and says it is committed to the goal of supplying more than 1 billion doses worldwide through 2021. 

The early stage trial will test the vaccine on 1,045 adults ages 18 to 55, as well as adults aged 65 and older. The study will take place in the U.S. and Belgium. More than 120 potential coronavirus vaccines are being developed and at least 10 are in clinical trials. 

The news from Johnson & Johnson comes as the final testing stage for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna is also set to begin in July. Moderna expects to enroll 30,000 people when it begins its phase three trial.

Meanwhile, the third phase of testing for potential vaccines developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca will begin in August. 

More than 7.2 million people have been infected by the coronavirus worldwide and more than 412,000 have died. 


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Published on Jun 10, 2020