“We’re conducting a massive study encompassing three continents, North America, South America and Africa.”
Because of the widespread prevalence of the virus the study could be conducted with fewer participants and still provide conclusive results.
“We’re trying to produce the results by the end of January. The vaccine will then need the approval of regulators. In the US this is a job for the FDA and that process should be complete within a month. We expect approval in Europe to follow shortly after that. By the end of March or in April we will be able to vaccinate on scale”.
Paul Stoffels hopes that it will be possible to use the vaccine in Belgium in March or April.
“Everything depends on the timing of the approval. Hopefully, with the different vaccines that will be available we will be able to vaccinate health care workers and the elderly by the summer. Later in the year broader sections of the population will be immunised. When that happens, hopefully pressure on hospitals and the whole country will fall.”
“Worldwide between 4 and 8 million vaccines need to be produced. We spent a little more time on producing a one dose vaccine. That is important to vaccinate on a large scale.”
The Johnson&Johnson vaccine is easier to store and transport than the Pfizer/BioNTech one. It can be stored at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C.
“You can keep it in the fridge. That makes it easier to transport across the world. This will have a big impact on the vaccination, also in developing countries”.