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Johnson & Johnson says COVID vaccine safe, 66 percent effective

J&J also said its single-shot vaccine is 85% effective against the most serious COVID symptoms.

Updated: January 29, 2021 - 9:48am

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson said Friday that its single-shot COVID-19 vaccination is 66% effective in the U.S. and seven other countries at preventing moderate to severe illness and 85% effective against the most serious symptoms.

The announcement of the finding follows U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of two vaccines – by Pfizer-BioNTech, then Moderna – as countries around the world look for enough dozes to inoculate residents and eventually end the virus’ deadly roll, having killed roughly 2 million worldwide. 

The vaccine worked better in the U.S. – 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 – compared to 57% in South Africa, where it was up against an easier-to-spread mutated virus, according to the Associated Press.

Pharmaceutical company Merck early this week ended its effort to make an effective vaccine, saying early results were “disappointing.” 

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