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Johnson & Johnson says one-dose vaccine is 72% effective in U.S.

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Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland, Julie Hyman, Brian Sozzi, and Anjalee Khemlani discuss the latest COVID-19 vaccine news.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: As promised during its earnings report, Johnson & Johnson has now come out with some vaccine data. Remember, this is a one shot vaccine. Our Anjalee Khemlani has been tracking all of the vaccine developments. So tell us about Johnson & Johnson's entrant here.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Yes. So what we got out of this phase three trial, is that the vaccine is still providing strong protection. So it has 72% protection in the US, 66% protection overall. Now remember, last year around this time, we were looking at the FDA for answers on what does strong protection mean. And they answered with 50%, and then upped it to 60%. So it still falls within that range, which is what vaccine experts are saying is going to be useful.

Now where there is some concern, of course, is that South Africa variant. We know that the trials did take place there. And they saw 57% protection there. But that is important to contextualize. Johnson & Johnson pointing to the fact that still, no matter what the overall efficacy rate was, it still protected against severe disease. And if we recall, that is also a pretty strong point from the mRNA vaccines that are out right now, which provide 100% protection. But Johnson & Johnson saying that 85% protection against severe disease. So that's really important. And 100% protection against hospitalization and death. Of course, that's a necessary end point.

Putting it all in context, of course, when we look overall at what the efficacy rates are, we know that the mRNA vaccines were 94%, 95%. We also got news yesterday from Novavax with its UK variant. Sorry, with its UK vaccine trial, protected against the UK variant, as well as the South Africa variant. But also saw a little bit of reduction against the South Africa strain at about 60% compared to the overall 89.3%.

So we're seeing sort of similar numbers across the board in terms of what the protection is. And we are seeing that continuing trend, a worrisome trend, experts are saying, against the more virulent South Africa B1351 strain. So all of this for right now. We know that Johnson & Johnson is going to be filing for their emergency use authorization in early February, which is next week, as well as prepared to roll out vaccine doses as soon as they're available with 100 million promised to the US by the end of June. Back to you guys.

JULIE HYMAN: Thank you, Anjalee, appreciate it.