Last November 15, a group of advocates working on vaccine access issues met with representatives of Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen to discuss issues related to the company’s mono-dose vaccine, popularly known as the Janssen Adeno26 COVID vaccine.
The meeting was an opportunity for advocates to pose questions dealing with the safety issues, dosage, the current pipeline and boosters. More importantly, it served as a forum for discussion on access to the Janssen vaccine and the company’s strategy on technology transfer, pricing, and distribution strategies.
Both J&J and the CAAB Vax (COVID Advocates Advisory Board on Vaccines) established the next steps to continue working on access to the vaccine for millions of people:
- Sharing and discussing J&J’s technology and patent transfer plan to C-TAP (COVID-19 Technology Access Pool).
- Sharing updated data on geographic distribution and access to the vaccine.
- Sharing the full list of countries with bilateral agreements with the company, as well as providing registration information.
Mitchell Warren, director of AVAC, viewed the meeting and the interchange positively, noting “The company again showed its commitment to the international community, and we know that this is just the first of many meetings. When pharmaceutical companies sit down and talk with advocates, it brings many benefits to communities and science.”
Othoman Mellouk, director of International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), also expressed his satisfaction with this first meeting. “Community participation has always been key to advancing science in an ethical and efficient manner. We also know that the presence of advocates helps to ensure equitable access to products once they are approved.”
The meeting is the first in a series of planned outreach to other companies such as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and generic manufacturers, as well the international agencies, Gavi and CEPI. The CAAB Vax and its members hope that other pharmaceutical companies will follow J&J’s lead and agree to meet with community leaders who are working to ensure vaccine access for all.
About the CAAB Vax
The CAAB Vax is a community advisory board focused on COVID-19 vaccines. It brings together 20 advocates from around the globe. The CAAB Vax is supported by ITPC and AVAC. The main goal of the group is to gain a better understanding of the science behind vaccines, improve the R&D process and work towards universal access to approved health products.