Six thousand British volunteers will be participating in the large-scale clinical trials by global pharmaceutical company Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) for its Covid vaccine modelled on an Ebola jab.
This is the third Covid vaccine to enter large-scale clinical trials in the UK. Pursuing multiple candidates is essential to guarantee UK supply and ensure that most effective vaccine is identified, researchers stressed.
If the results of the single-shot trial are positive, the company said it could simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals requiring two doses. The efficacy of a double-dose vaccine could be affected if people fail to return to get their a second shot.
Already undergoing large clinical trials in British patients are the Oxford Covid vaccine, and one being developed by the US biotech company Novavax.
Rival drugmakers Pfizer and BioNtech said last week that their potential COVID-19 shot showed more than 90% efficacy in interim data from a late-stage trial, boosting hopes that vaccines against the pandemic disease may be ready for use soon.