FDA expected to approve Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Friday or Saturday

11 News this Morning at 6 am
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 7:34 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Food and Drug Administration is meeting Friday to consider approving the third COVID-19 vaccine, this one made by Johnson and Johnson.

FDA analysis already found, the shot meets requirements for emergency use. If approved by the FDA, the matter then goes to the Centers for Disease Control, which has plans to meet about the vaccine on Sunday.

4 million doses of the vaccine are ready to be shipped immediately and could be early next week. This is the first single dose COVID-19 vaccine, something experts say could expedite the fight to end the pandemic.

“This adds to the tool kit of vaccines that we have,” said Dr. Jon Andrus, an immunization specialist and professor for the Colorado School of Public Health. “The demand is greatly exceeding the supply, so this is good news.”

Experts say, the single dose is more efficient because there’s no guarantee people are making their second appointment to get their second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This vaccine can also be stored and shipped at regular refrigerator temperatures, making it less fragile in that sense compared to Pfizer and Moderna’s extremely cold temperature requirements.

Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine shows about 86% efficacy, compared to both Pfizer and Moderna having comparable efficacy over 90%.

Andrus says, the timing of each maker’s trials and when variants emerged could, in part, explain efficacy differences.

“When Moderna and Pfizer did their first human trials, they were able to come out quicker and initiate their trials and conclude with their results during a time when there was very few variants ... and so their efficacy shows high levels.” Andrus added, regarding Johnson and Johnson, “86% against severe disease in the United States, and that’s in an environment where there are more variants emerging.”

Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is expected to be effective against multiple variants, but research is new and ongoing on this.

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