First up, we have Johnson & Johnson with an announcement regarding its Phase 3 clinical trial, which showed its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to be 66 percent effective overall in preventing "moderate to severe" cases 28 days after vaccination. More specifically, the protection level against moderate to severe infection was measured at 72 percent in the U.S., 66 percent in Latin America, and 57 percent in South Africa.
Speaking on the company's goal of developing a single-shot vaccine, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said the team was "proud to have reached this critical milestone" and committed to moving forward with urgency.
"Our goal all along has been to create a simple, effective solution for the largest number of people possible, and to have maximum impact to help end the pandemic," Gorsky said in a press release on Friday. Johnson & Johnson, notably, is also studying a two-dose regimen.
And on Thursday, Novavax came through with word that its vaccine candidate has shown an efficacy rate of 89.3 percent following its Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK. Efficacy by strain, per a press release, was 95.6 percent against the original COVID-19 strain and 85.6 percent against the UK variant.
In a statement, Professor Shabir Maddi—a principal investigator in the Novavax trial in South Africa—addressed how its candidate fared in terms of that region's variant.
"The 60 percent reduced risk against COVID-19 illness in vaccinated individuals in South Africans underscores the value of this vaccine to prevent illness from the highly worrisome variant currently circulating in South Africa, and which is spreading globally," he said on Thursday. "This is the first COVID-19 vaccine for which we now have objective evidence that it protects against the variant dominating in South Africa."
As for more imminent vaccines, we're likely still months away (at least) from having options available widely to the general public, regardless of age or occupation.
"I think it'll be this spring," POTUS Joe Biden said earlier this month. "I think we'll be able to do that this spring."