Johnson & Johnson vaccine under review Friday for emergency use authorization

Coronavirus

A third COVID-19 vaccine could soon be available to Americans, joining the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

A Food and Drug Administration committee will meet Friday to discuss whether to grant emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine.

Earlier this week, the FDA committee said the J&J vaccine is safe and effective, so it is very likely its usage will be recommended.

The Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine’s level of protection varied by region. Overall it demonstrated 66% effectiveness,  72% effectiveness in the United States, and prevented 100% of hospitalizations and deaths.

The vaccine can be stored and transported at standard freezer temperatures and is a single dose. 

One doctor here in Indiana is weighing in about about the shot and says the fact that is a single dose vaccine could make it a game changer.

“The beauty with this vaccine is you don’t have to get a second shot. So if there are populations where that is hard to make happen — then this is huge for us,” said Dr. Chris Weaver, IU Health’s chief clinical officer.

Johnson & Johnson has committed to providing 20 million shots upon the initial roll out and 100 million by summer. That will cover a third of the population in the United States. Experts are recommending people get whatever vaccine they can get first.

IU Health believes if the committee does recommend the vaccine on Friday, the CDC would then likely approve it over the weekend and it could be distributed by next week.

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