Johnson & Johnson said it will cut the size of its Covid-19 vaccine trial because the virus is so widespread.
The trial initially planned to recruit 60,000 volunteers.
“Given the high incidence of Covid-19 among the general population, we expect that approximately 40,000 participants will generate the data needed to determine the safety and efficacy of our investigational Covid-19 vaccine candidate,” spokesperson Lisa Cannellos told CNN over email. “We continue to anticipate that interim data from the ENSEMBLE trial will be available by the end of January. If the vaccine is safe and effective, an emergency use authorization application could be submitted to the FDA in February. Other health regulatory applications around the world would be made in parallel.”
Moncef Slaoui, of Operation Warp Speed, said Wednesday that the trial may have enough participants by the end of the week.
“We have already recruited more than 38,000 subjects in the study,” Slaoui said at a news briefing. “With J&J we decided to cap the recruitment to around 40,000 subjects, which will happen by the end of this week or in the next two or three days.”
Slaoui said that he thought if the data showed that the vaccine worked, an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration would be “hopefully approved swiftly.”