(ConservativePeak.Com)- A coronavirus vaccine could be ready by early next year if all goes well.
Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that it has developed an experimental vaccine and will begin testing it on humans by September. If those trials go well, it’s possible the vaccine could be ready for emergency use authorization in the first part of 2021.
The research has been funded in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal agency that is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Johnson & Johnson committed more than $1 billion of its own money to the project.
Company officials said they are undertaking this process on a “not-for-profit basis.”
The phase 1 human clinical study will begin by September at the latest, company officials said, with data available by the end of this year.
In order to keep up with demand, Johnson & Johnson said it would add a new manufacturing site in the United States and also make other additions to some of its existing sites abroad. This would allow the company to both produce and then distribute the vaccine quickly if it works well.
Johnson & Johnson CEO and Chairman Alex Gorsky said:
“We have very good early indicators that not only can we depend on this to be a safe vaccine base but also one that will ultimately be effective based on all the early testing and modelling we’ve been doing. This is a bit of a moonshot for J&J going forward, but it’s one we feel is very, very important for us to be doing at this period in time.”
Not only does Johnson & Johnson have a leading vaccine candidate, they also have two backups — all of which they began work on back in January. If they are able to get the vaccine available for emergency use authorization in early 2021, it would significantly outpace the typical five- to seven-year period at which vaccines are typically developed.
As of right now, there is not only no vaccine for the coronavirus, but there is no treatment drug, either. Some places are using Remdesivir, which was tested during the Ebola outbreak as a possible treatment. In the U.S., it’s being used to treat patients who have COVID-19 in the state of Washington.
The prospects of a coronavirus vaccine are very heartening to hear, even if the earliest possible timeline would be the first half of 2021. While that doesn’t help anyone today, it does give prospects of hope that this pandemic may not last as long as some experts are predicting.
For now, though, the medical community will continue to urge people to practice good social distancing and other hygiene measures to prevent the further spread of the virus. More and more local governments are putting lockdown orders in place to keep people in their homes, with South Florida and Maryland being the latest two to institute such policies.