MANILA— The anti-coronavirus vaccine developed by US health care company Johnson & Johnson will be beneficial to the Philippines, a health official said Wednesday, as the jab may not require a second booster to achieve immunity.
"If we can be able to get this kind of vaccines [then] that will be very beneficial for our population," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a public press briefing.
The company said last week its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 72 percent effective in preventing the illness in large-scale trials conducted in the United States.
However, the vaccine's efficacy was lower in clinical trials in Latin America and South Africa at between 57 percent and 66 percent, still above the 50 percent benchmark for approval set by regulators.
Vergeire said the J&J vaccine would be "operationally simple" in the Philippines because the public may not need to receive another shot, unlike those being developed by other drug makers.
"Isang turok lang sa’yo, makukuha mo na iyong efficacy na kinakailangan ng iyong katawan para ikaw ay maproteksiyonan," she said.
(For one shot, you can already be protected [from the illness].)
J&J's also does not need to be kept frozen, making it a strong candidate for use in parts of the world with weak transportation infrastructure and insufficient cold storage facilities.
The company said the vaccine used a common cold virus known as adenovirus type 26 to introduce coronavirus proteins into cells in the body and trigger immune response.
Side effects such as fever, muscle aches and injection site pain were tolerable and resolved quickly, the study also showed.
The Philippine government is in talks with J&J for possible 10 million jabs against the virus. Supply may arrive in the country in the third quarter of this year, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had said.
- With a report from Reuters