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At first glance, the results reported Friday from the long-awaited trial of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine might have seemed disappointing. Its overall efficacy — the ability to prevent moderate and severe disease — was reported at 72% in the United States, 66% in Latin American countries and 57% in South Africa.

Those figures appear far below the high bar set by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the first two vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States, which reported overall efficacy from 94% to 95%.

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