Update on Novavax and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines


BREAKING NEWS: It’s been an eventful last 24 hours with release of Phase III trial results from both Novavax & Johnson & Johnson!

TL;DR: We have two more vaccines with very good (but not perfect) protection against symptomatic disease, but *very* good protection against severe disease.

The J&J one dose regimen along with regular temperature storage for both vaccines could greatly simplify logistics and increase the pace of vaccination around the world.

➡️ While Pfizer & Moderna set the bar high with their 95% efficacy, this is AMAZING news for the overall goal of reducing severe disease and ending the global pandemic.


Type of Vaccine: Protein subunit with adjuvant
Dosing: Two doses, 21 days apart
Efficacy (symptomatic disease): 89.3% in the UK, 60.0% in South Africa
💥 NO cases of severe disease or death in vaccine group
Storage: Normal refrigerator temperature


Type of Vaccine: Viral vector (adenovirus)
Dosing: Single Dose (although 2 doses also being tested)
Efficacy (symptomatic disease): 66% (72% in US, 66% in Latin America, 57% in South Africa)
🏥 85% reduction in severe disease
💥 NO hospitalizations or deaths in vaccine group
Storage: Normal refrigerator temperature

💥 Bottom Line: REALLY GOOD NEWS. Preventing severe disease, hospitalization & death from COVID-19 is the name of the game, and these vaccines are outstanding in that regard.

There are some caveats—the lower efficacy in South Africa may be due to the new strain, which was detected in a large % of participants. While this is one explanation, vaccine efficacy can also be lower in different contexts due to characteristics of the population such as rates of underlying co-morbidities or immune differences due to past infection histories.

Finally, it’s important to note that these results were via press release and we will be able to dig deeper into the results when the full studies are published. Watch this space!

Those Nerdy Girls

Further reading:

Novavax results

Johnson & Johnson Results

Quick primer on types of COVID-19 vaccines

Link to original FB post