Speaking to CNBC, Gorsky cited the mutations and variants of the disease, several of which have already landed in the U.S., as the driving force behind differentiating capabilities of the vaccine to fight off antibodies. Previous suggestions have indicated that COVID-19 could become a flu-like endemic disease, too.
Johnson & Johnson submitted an application for FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) last week for its one-dose vaccine in the hopes that it could begin distributing it in the U.S. alongside the two previously authorized vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, both of which require two doses about three to four weeks apart.
The company expects to have its product available to ship immediately following FDA authorization, as well. Johnson & Johnson set its target to produce 1 billion doses in 2021 and expand production after that. The company has committed to not-for-profit pricing during the pandemic assuming its single-dose vaccine is authorized by FDA and other regulators. J&J is also investigating a two-dose regimen for its vaccine.
In August 2020, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and Defense Dept. agreed to a $1 billion deal for a vaccine candidate from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical subsidiary, meaning authorization in the U.S. would bring a welcome addition to the effort to get the country vaccinated.
Gorsky told CNBC that the company is confident it will meet its target of delivering 100 million doses of the vaccine to the U.S. by the end of June as it works “full speed” on manufacturing with sights set on safely and effectively accelerating production.