Skip to Main Content

As anticipation builds over the arrival of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines, a growing challenge for the various manufacturers is to plot a successful path for distribution. The issues range from ensuring vaccines are stored at necessary temperatures and expanding manufacturing capacity to preventing theft and making deliveries in countries where infrastructure is lacking. One of the people responsible for piecing together such public health jigsaw puzzles is Remo Colarusso, vice president for supply chain responsibilities at Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) subsidiary that is among the companies racing to develop a vaccine. We spoke with him about the effort and how the company is approaching the task. This is an edited version of our conversation. 

Before we get into distribution, what’s the status of your vaccine?


It continues to progress through Phase 3. We’re actively enrolling in Phase 3; it’s a pivotal trial in the U.S. … We’re the only vaccine manufacturer with Phase 3 trials with a single-dose regimen… . If we do need to give a second dose, our experience is that we see much higher antibody production and more durability. It lasts a lot longer, maybe years, as opposed to months. So we’re sort of living in both worlds. A single dose will be great for the pandemic, but over time as with any vaccine, when you see a decline in antibodies, that level of boosting (from a second dose) is being put in a single trial test for the post-pandemic period.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!