On Friday, Feb. 26, a panel of industry and medical-experts voted in favor of endorsing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, and recommending that the FDA approve its emergency use authorization, making it the third vaccine available in the United States in the ongoing battle against the pandemic.
Also on Friday, during his coronavirus response media-briefing, West Virginia Gov.Jim Justice announced that the state “expects to receive an initial weekly allotment of approximately 15,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine” once the FDA has issued the authorization.
“If this comes to pass, next week our total doses in West Virginia should approach 60,000 between Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer combined,” Justice said. “That’s great, great news and we’re ready for it.”
According to a statement released by Justice’s office, “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot, unlike the two-shot dosing for the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and it does not require special refrigeration for shipment and storage, making it particularly appealing for those in West Virginia’s rural areas.”
On Saturday, Feb. 27, the FDA issued the emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, stating, “The FDA has determined that the Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria for issuance of an EUA.”
Of the approval, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said, “The authorization of this vaccine expand the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half-a-million lives in the United States. The FDA, through our open and transparent scientific review process, has now authorized three COVID-19 vaccines with the urgency called for during this pandemic, using the agency’s rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.”
Check out Page 3 of The West Virginia Daily News for more on the FDA approval of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and in future editions of the paper for the potential impact it may have on the Mountain State, as additional details are made available.