FDA panel votes to approve Johnson & Johnson vaccine

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Friday marked another critical point in the effort to vaccinate America. The FDA’s advisory panel reviewed and voted on whether to approve Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for emergency use. The panel voted to approve the vaccine, making it one step closer to being the country’s third option in the fight against COVID-19.

Inside a Baltimore lab, workers prepare the critical ingredients for another COVID-19 vaccine, the third, this one for Johnson & Johnson, faced formal evaluation by the FDA’s independent outside advisory panel on whether approve the vaccine for emergency use. Once fully approved by the FDA, J&J hopes to ship millions of vaccine does within days.

Sean Kirk is in charge of manufacturing and technical operations at Emergent Bio Solutions which then partners with manufacturing facilities to fill the vaccine vials on a massive scale. His team has been working since last summer to ramp up production.

“We purify out the viral vectors, which are the active part of the vaccine,” Kirk explained. “We freeze it down, we ship it out of here and it’s filled into the vials that patients are accustomed to receiving or seeing when they get a vaccine shot.”

At the White House Thursday, President Biden marked 50 million vaccines administered since taking office. “This is not a victory lap,” he said. “Everything is not fixed, we have a long way to go.”

As the Biden administration works to expand availability in more under-served communities, Vice President Harris was at a pharmacy in southeast D.C. that’s now administering doses while, in east Boston, National Guard troops are on the front lines.

Back at the lab they have also been working on not just the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but the AstraZeneca vaccine that’s approved in the U.K and in the E.U and they are still awaiting FDA approval.

Skip to content