Single Dose Johnson & Johnson COVID19 Vaccine Faces Final Authorization Hurdle

The FDA has found the COVId-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson — a notable departure from those already on the market, because it’s a single dose — to be safe and effective. On Friday, they’ll decide whether to authorize it for use.

J&J vaccine to receive authorization
[Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images]

NPR reports that the Food and Drug Administration has released an analysis after testing of the single-dose vaccine, and their analysis supports authorizing it for use in battling the ongoing pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean it’s done and over with — a panel will meet Friday to further evaluate the information and make an official recommendation, after which the vaccine will likely be authorized for use.

According to the Washington Post, the vaccine has about an 85% effectiveness against severe cases, even when facing some of the more concerning strands, but a slightly lower efficacy when more moderate cases were included in analysis.

This vaccine brings with it a number of additional benefits: because it needs less stringent storage, and can be kept refrigerated for months, there are fewer complications in transportation and delivery. Further, being a single dose helps in itself, by cutting the number of appointments needed in half, and circumventing the concern that people who have difficult side effects from the first dose will just not show up for a second.

As the virus continues to mutate, optimism about the efficacy of available vaccines remains tenuous, but according to CNBC, even as the current vaccination program is rolled out and the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is reaching authorization, Moderna is working to develop a booster that will address new variants, and this should be available by fall.

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