The Food and Drug Administration concluded the U.S. may soon see a third version of the COVID-19 vaccine, as Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose variety was deemed safe on Wednesday.
Next up is the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that would green-light the administration of the vaccine, with a decision likely to come in the next few days.
The FDA’s panel of vaccine experts was scheduled to meet Friday as part of the determination process on whether the vaccine should be authorized for public use.
Scientists, within the FDA’s 62-page report, said the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson-owned Janssen Pharmaceutical had a “favorable safety profile with no specific safety concerns identified that would preclude issuance of an EUA.”
The FDA granted authorization to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines almost immediately after their respective vaccine panel deliberations.
The shot produced an efficacy rate of 72% in its U.S.-based trial and 66% overall across three regions where the shot was tested. The report put the vaccine at 85% effective in preventing hospitalization; 100% effective at preventing death due to coronavirus.
During a Thursday interview with Today’s Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, said that Americans just need to be vaccinated, no matter which of the FDA-approved choices.
“In fact, you just heard one of the people from Moderna say that ‘when the vaccine becomes available, take it.’ I mean when a vaccine gets by the FDA in an emergency use authorization, and then ultimately, hopefully, in an actual full approval, take the vaccine.
“To have two is fine. To have three is absolutely better. It’s better because there are more choices, it’s better also because it increases the supply of vaccines.”