Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine cleared for expected FDA authorization within days

Karen Weintraub
USA TODAY

A government advisory committee voted unanimously Friday to recommend authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson for use in adults.

“I think authorization of this vaccine will help meet the needs at the moment,” committee member Dr. Archana Chatterjee, dean of the Chicago Medical School, said after casting her vote.

If the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration agrees, as expected as soon as tomorrow, the vaccine could begin rolling out in the U.S. next week.

The J&J vaccine would be the third vaccine to reach Americans, joining ones from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which have been provided to 46 million people since December.

The approval of the FDA advisory group, known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, was expected, because the company has met all the criteria the FDA established last year for a vaccine to be authorized: a large-scale trial proving safety and effectiveness and proof that the company can manufacture the vaccine consistently and safely.

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