Vaccine from New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson closer to FDA emergency use authorization
The United States could be just days away from having another vaccine to defeat the coronavirus from New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson.
Tomorrow, a Food and Drug Administration committee will discuss giving emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine.
If approved, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine would be the third in the U.S., and it could be a potential game changer.
Johnson & Johnson's would be the first single-shot approved in the U.S. Pfizer and Moderna's are both two-shot doses, meaning Johnson & Johnson's can go twice as far. One hundred million doses of their vaccine would reach 100 million people while Pfizer and Moderna's would only reach 50 million people.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine would also be able to be stored in normal refrigerators.
Gov. Phil Murphy says these aspects could make a big difference in New Jersey.
"Assuming it's approved as a one-dose vaccine with regular refrigeration, I can't say overnight you're in doctor's offices, but that gives you flexibility, gives us flexibility and the ability to get to hard-to-reach places that we just don't have today with both limited supplies and two-shot cold chain storage vaccines," Murphy says.
The hard-to-reach places include the state's homeless population and emergency room situations.
The Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe infection and provides strong protection against hospitalization and death.
The big step is tomorrow when the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee makes its recommendation to the FDA, and typically the agency follows what the committee says. After that, the shots could be on the way soon.