Post #827: Yeah, this really is the vaccine I want

Source: Safety and immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccine candidate: interim results of a phase 1/2a, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.  Jerry Sadoff, Mathieu Le Gars, Georgi Shukarev, et al.,

Four days ago, in Post #824 , I stated that the Johnson and Johnson (J and J) COVID-19 vaccine is the one I want to get.  That was based on my reading of the initial research findings on monkeys, and some oblique hints dropped by US public health officials.

Friday’s news strongly reinforces that conclusion.  J and J tested the vaccine on hundreds of healthy people, and 98% of them developed “neutralizing antibodies” four weeks after vaccination. You can see popular press reporting of this at these links (The Independent, Reuters), and can read the original research at this link (medRxiv, hit “download pdf” to see full research paper.)
Continue reading Post #827: Yeah, this really is the vaccine I want

Post #824: This is the vaccine I want

Source:  Figure 5 from:  Mercado, N.B., Zahn, R., Wegmann, F. et al. Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. Nature (2020).

I admit to being an unabashed fan of Johnson and Johnson (J and J).  That’s an informed opinion, having worked as a technical consultant to numerous Fortune 500 health care companies.  From what I could tell, in my limited perspective as a consultant, they were, with one possible exception, the best and the brightest of US health care manufacturers. 

And consummate business people.  I’m a fan, as I said.

And so, just to prep you for the conclusion here, if J and J thought that Moderna (the officially anointed US vaccine manufacturer) had some sort of amazingly effective and patented approach to producing vaccines, they’d have bought them already.  Or at least bid for them, up to what they believed the value the firm was worth.

To me, in this circumstance, the fact that J and J didn’t try to buy them speaks volumes.  It tells me that J and J thought they’d do better, relying only on expertise within the J and J family. Not that this is some point-of-pride thing, but merely adhering to a least-cost make-or-buy decision.  Just the way that is taught in business textbooks.

Understanding that I’m an economist, and not an expert on the science, let me try to read the tea leaves, on what’s now being reported on the J and J vaccine. Continue reading Post #824: This is the vaccine I want