Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine protects monkeys, study finds

Researchers report that a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's experimental coronavirus vaccine protected monkeys from infection. The findings, which are published in Nature, come just days after a similar study was published on a vaccine tested by Moderna and NIH.

Researchers report that a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's experimental coronavirus vaccine protected monkeys from infection. The findings, which are published in Nature, come just days after a similar study was published on a vaccine tested by Moderna and NIH. The Moderna vaccine uses messenger RNA, while the J&J vaccine is based on the Ad26 virus, which has been modified so that it carries the coronavirus spike protein gene. European regulators recently approved the company's Ad26 vaccine for Ebola, the first time this kind of virus-assisted gene delivery was approved for any disease. In the new study, researchers administered one dose of vaccine to the monkeys, waited 6 weeks, and then infected them with the coronavirus. Six of the seven Ad26 vaccine variants provided the monkeys with partial protection against the virus, meaning the virus replicated at only low levels in them. For the seventh version, five out of six monkeys that received it had no detectable viruses, and the sixth only had low levels in its nose. J&J last week launched its first human safety trial of this vaccine, and it hopes to enter Phase III tests by September.