Johnson & Johnson to begin Covid-19 vaccine trials on youth

Published Nov 2, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Johnson & Johnson aims to begin their Covid-19 vaccine trials in youths aged between 12 and 18 years old.

“We plan to trial children as soon as we possibly can, but very carefully in terms of safety,” Johnson & Johnson’s Dr. Jerry Sadoff told a virtual meeting of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices according to Reuters.

Depending on the success, safety and all other factors, Johnson & Johnson may test their vaccine in even younger children according to Sadoff, a vaccine research scientist at Janssen which is Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical company.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine works in a way that it uses the cold virus to deliver coronavirus genetic material to spark an immune response with the same platform used in the Ebola vaccine that was approved in Europe this year which as already been used in over 100,000 people including children, infants and pregnant women.

“Most of the toxicities are going to come from the platform and not from putting a different insert into the platform," said Dr. Paul Spearman, director of the infectious diseases division of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. "So replacing the Ebola genetic material with that of the novel coronavirus is unlikely to give you major issues,” he added.

However, Johnson & Johnson begun their vaccine tests on adults in late September, with 60,000 volunteers but the trial was paused due to a serious medical event in a participant with the study resuming just last week.

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