In July of last year, Janssen, a unit of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), received European authorization for its Ebola vaccine. The vaccine piggybacks on a modified virus from a different family to introduce a noteworthy gene from the targeted virus. This mechanism allows the immune system to recognize and attack it if it sees it again. The company has leveraged the same approach to target HIV, Zika, and now SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Johnson & Johnson’s phase 3 trial began in September and produced positive results late last month. With shares at roughly the same price they were when the data was released, there’s time to weigh the pros and cons to decide whether J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine is a reason to buy the stock.