Johnson & Johnson CEO on COVID-19 vaccine approval and rollout

Alex Gorsky discusses the company's strategy for shipping out its single-shot doses and how it plans to meet its commitment of delivering 20 million doses across the U.S. by the end of March.
4:10 | 03/01/21

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Transcript for Johnson & Johnson CEO on COVID-19 vaccine approval and rollout
We're joined by the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Alex Gorsky. Mr. Gorsky, thanks for joining us. The first shipments are going out. When will people get them in their arms? George, thank you very much for having us this morning. It is an exciting day for us. The trucks are literally rolling off the docks as we speak and hope to be able to get shots in arms with literally the next 24 to 48 hour. You're shipping out about 4 million doses. That's shy of the 12 million you expected to have at the end of February. What went wrong there? Well, George, let's just step back for a moment. First of all, for the last 13 months our physicians, our scientists, our engineers have been working around the clock to make this day possible. And following the fda and the CDC's recommendation for approval over the last couple of days this really brings together a tremendous amount of work to have a safe, effective vaccine with a single dose on a not for profit basis standard refrigeration out again in millions of doses within the first several days and we'll have 100 million doses available by June. So we couldn't be more excited. I don't believe that we have ever been able to produce that many doses of a vaccine let alone any medicine in that kind of time in history so we're incredibly proud of what we've been able to do and couldn't be more excited. Even though you're not meeting the February goal you still expect to have 12 million by the end of March and -- We anticipate March shipping 4 million over the next several days and then expect to have about 20 million having been delivered by March and then it will be on this path to do 100 million by June of this year and, remember, that's all en route to doing almost a billion doses over the course of 2021 and what's really important here, George, when I say 100 million in the first half of the year that's 100 million shots in arms for Americans and even yoshiro Mori people around the world so this will be an important addition for health care systems and patients and consumers around the world. There are questions about those who are thinking which to take and you scored slightly lower than the pfizer and modern vaccine on overall effectiveness. I talked to experts like Dr. Jha and Dr. Fauci who said you should get whatever vaccine you can get whenever you can get it. Explain why the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is just as good as modern or pfizer. You're right, George. Consistent with Dr. Fauci and Dr. Jha, everyone should get the first shot they can get, all these vaccines are incredibly effective. It's important to remember about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is we did the clinical trials roughly from October of 2020 to January of this year and it was really during the peak of the incidence rate of this virus, that's number one. Number two, we did it in a broad number of countries, in fact, about 40% of the patients in the trial were in Latin America, we had about another 15% in south Africa, in South Africa over 90% of those patients were infected with the south African strain. And so what you're seeing are really strong efficacy rate, 85% of the time with severe disease we kept all the patients out of the hospital. We kept all the patients from and, again, this is with a single dose against some of the most difficult strains during the most challenging times of this pandemic. That's why it's going to be so important to add this vaccine to what's available out there today. There is real hope the technology you've developed could work against other diseases as well? Absolutely. You know, this is an exciting time for the entire biopharmaceutical industry and when we think of what we've been able to do over the past year in what normally would take five or seven years we did in five to seven month, I believe these new type of vaccine technologies will have broad applications potentially in things like cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other areas. So this is -- this whole pandemic is a very important milestone but in spite of the big challenge, I think it's going to offer a lot of hope and promise for the future. Encouraging news, Alex Gorsky, thanks very much. Thank you, George. A lot of hope and promise. All right, thank you, George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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