Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky has to be happy and relieved today.
In a media tour on Monday, Gorsky said his company’s COVID-19 vaccine could reach 100 million people by June and that it measures up well to the Pfizer and Moderna versions.
“Knowing that we’ve got a safe and effective single-shot option that doesn’t require extensive refrigeration should help that distribution, that kind of bottleneck that we’ve been seeing – significantly – in the coming weeks and months,” Gorsky said Monday on CBS This Morning.
J&J received authorization from the FDA on Saturday for emergency use, making it the only vaccine that requires just one dose. The company expects to deliver five doses per vial, with the contents shipped at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
The sticking point for some is the clinical trials result of a 66% effective overall rate at protecting against COVID-19, compared with about 95% for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
In an FDA briefing document dated Feb. 26, from the “Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting,” medical trials found the vaccine is 85 percent effective against severe illness and resulted in zero COVID-related deaths.
Gorsky said “all of these vaccines are incredibly effective,” and touted the key in the findings was no deaths and that it prevented 100% of virus-related hospitalization.
“There’s a lot of different ways to try and do comparisons,” Gorsky said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“But when you really look at what’s the objective here, keeping people out of the hospital, keeping people from dying, we believe this is an incredibly important tool to be added — to health-care systems let alone for patients around the world.”