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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is one step closer to federal approval

Could make getting vaccination appointments much easier
Posted at 8:08 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 14:54:55-05

BALTIMORE — There could be three versions of the COVID-19 vaccine available as soon as next week, which could make it easier for people to get a vaccination appointment.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently being manufactured at Emergent Bio Solutions in Southeast Baltimore.

The FDA now says that this new vaccine appears to be 86 percent effective at preventing severe illness and 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations or deaths in drug trials. Researchers are studying if it also will also work against asymptomatic cases, which would help reduce the transmission of the virus.

If given the green light by the FDA, Johnson & Johnson officials say they could have 3 to 4 million doses ready to go as early as next week and 100 million doses shipped by the summer.

Health officials believe the availability of a third vaccine would help get more Americans vaccinated as soon as possible.

If the FDA gives the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the thumbs up, it would join the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Those two require two doses, while the Johnson & Johnson version only requires one.