Johnson & Johnson vaccine could get green light on Thursday


Food and Drug Administration meets Thursday to discuss emergency use authorization

WTAE NEWS — With a constant deluge of information about Group 1A, first doses, second doses, a big decision by the Food and Drug Administration lurks that could impact the overall vaccine picture. Thursday, the FDA meets to discuss the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"A third one is a game-changer. It’s really exciting and I think that just means more vaccines in more arms, sooner rather than later," said Jodie Cortez, a Strip District resident who said she still thinks it'll be "a few more months" before she gets vaccinated.

On Thursday, Johnson & Johnson told congress it could get 20 million doses out nationwide if it's approved. Compared to Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines already on the market, Johnson & Johnson is only one dose and doesn't require any special refrigeration. 

According to its trials, Johnson & Johnson was about 25% less effective than the two vaccines already on the market at preventing someone from getting COVID-19. But health policy & management professor Mark Roberts said Johnson & Johnson is just as effective as the other two at preventing serious illness. "When you look at the data for preventing serious disease, and preventing death, it’s almost indistinguishable from the Pfizer and Moderna," Roberts said.

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