A CLOSER LOOK: 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials underway

A Closer Look

Dr. Fauci: it's critical to get both doses in order to stay ahead of the new variants of the virus.

Getty Images.

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists three novel coronavirus vaccines that are in Phase 3 clinical trials as of late December 2020.

  • Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine​
  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

Currently, two are in use, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna, both require a double dose about three to four weeks apart.


This single-shot vaccine has proven to be 72% effective in the U.S., and 66% effective overall, at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, 28 days after vaccination, according to a January 29 company statement about the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE clinical trial.

The data was based on 43,783 participants, 18 and older, “accruing 468 symptomatic cases of COVID-19.”

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is awaiting word from the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application submitted on February 4, 2021. If authorized, the company expects to have the product immediately available for shipment in the U.S. — J&J expects to supply 100 million doses by June 2021.


Novavax is now in Phase 3 studies to “evaluate vaccine efficacy, safety and immunogenicity (immune response),” according to its website. The Maryland-based company reported in late January that their vaccine, NVX-CoV2373 had a near 90% efficacy in the UK Phase 3 trial — more than 15,000 people participated.

Another Phase 3 trial got underway in December in the U.S. and Mexico — about 30,000 people have participated.

Trial participants were all adults 18 years and older.

The vaccine uses the full-length spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as the antigen. The SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 (full name is “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”). The two-dose vaccine cannot cause COVID-19 and can be stored at 2-8 Celsius (35.6-46.4 Fahrenheit).


A Phase III of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, AZD1222, in its therapeutic respiratory area, paused the study last September because of an adverse reaction, according to its website. Over the weekend, Feb. 6-7, South Africa changed the vaccine rollout because they said it provides “minimal protection” for the new variant circulating there (B.1.351).

We are working with AstraZeneca to optimize the pipeline required for a strain change should one become necessary. This is the same issue that is faced by all of the vaccine developers, and we will continue to monitor the emergence of new variants that arise in readiness for a future strain change.

 University of Oxford Vaccinology Professor Sarah Gilbert

AstraZeneca’s two-dose trial is ongoing in the U.S. The vaccine can be stored at 2-8 Celsius (35.6-46.4 Fahrenheit) for at least six months. The company’s plan is to deliver up to 3 billion doses globally by the end of 2021.


On Monday, February 8, during the White House COVID-19 briefing, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s “critical” to get both doses in order to stay ahead of the new variants of the virus.

Florida and California have reported the most variant cases, 201 and 150, respectively.

Nationwide, almost 700 B.1.1.7 and six B.1.351 cases were identified in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Nearly a dozen states have yet to report a variant, including Arkansas, according to the CDC’s map that closely monitors mutations “in the virus genome that alter the characteristics.”

Additional states with variant mutations include Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana, and Idaho.


  • COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
  • People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
  • Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
  • Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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