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J&J Plans 60k Subjects to Start COVID-19 Vaccine Trial in September

Johnson & Johnson plan to begin the largest, late-stage trial testing a potential coronavirus vaccine in September.

The phase three trial would enroll up to 60,000 healthy people ages 18 and older across nearly 180 locations in the U.S. and other countries, according to a J&J spokesman and 

According to J&J spokesman, The Wall Street Journal wants ‘to enroll a robust number of participants who are representative of those populations affected by COVID-19.’

According to The Journal, the trial will be conducted at 180 locations in the US and eight other countries including Brazil, Chile, the Philippines, and South Africa.

In the US, locations will be in 28 states such as California, Florida, Texas, the states with the most cases, and among the highest transmission rates.

Participants will be randomly selected to receive a dose of the potential vaccine or a placebo, according to details of the trial, which will determine whether the vaccine is safe and effective. They will be followed by researchers for more than two years.

“Our Phase 3 program is intended to be as robust as possible, could include up to 60,000 participants and will be conducted in places with high incidence rates,” J&J Spokesman Jake Sargent said in a statement to CNBC.

“We are using epidemiology and modeling data to predict and plan where our studies should take place and expect that to be finalized soon,” he added.

J&J anticipates possible vaccine batches for potential emergency use available in early 2021.