Johnson & Johnson plans next generation COVID-19 vaccine

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Johnson & Johnson is forging plans to create a second-generation coronavirus vaccine, a spokesperson confirmed to Fox News.

“We are looking at the development of a second-generation vaccine and will leverage our learnings from our current COVID-19 program to accelerate these efforts,” a spokesperson at Janssen wrote in part. “We will continue to do all we can to help bring an end to the pandemic and will share more information as it is available.”

The efforts come in parallel as the company works to boost manufacturing power to supply its existing coronavirus vaccine around the world.

“The results of our Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study showed protection against multiple variants in circulation, and we are working around the clock to develop and broadly activate our manufacturing capabilities to supply our single-shot COVID-19 vaccine worldwide,” the spokesperson wrote. “We will also continue to test the effectiveness of our vaccine against new and emerging variants.”

The ENSEMBLE study previously indicated the now-authorized single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 72% effective in preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19 in the U.S, but fell to 66% in a larger trial conducted worldwide. The late-stage trial involved 43,783 participants.

J&J previously boosted hopes its vaccine candidate will be effective against variant strains.

“Protection was generally consistent across race, age groups, including adults over 60 years of age (N= 13,610), and across all variants and regions studied, including South Africa where nearly all cases of COVID-19 (95%) were due to infection with a SARS-CoV-2 variant from the B.1.351 lineage,” reads a previous release.

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