ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — State officials expressed optimism Thursday about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is being manufactured in Baltimore will get emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan said federal officials told him it should be approved for use by the end of February.
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UPDATES FROM GOV. HOGAN’S NEWS CONFERENCE:
The company filed the emergency use authorization request in late January. Unlike other vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s requires only a single dose and does not need to be kept at subzero temperatures.
“This could very well be a major breakthrough in terms of increasing the supply of vaccines,” Hogan said. “We’re very proud that a Maryland company will be a part of that.”
Dr. David Marcozzi from the University of Maryland Medical System said all of the current vaccines, including Johnson & Johnson’s, have proven to be effective and safe while preventing hospitalizations and death.
More vaccine offerings mean more people can get vaccinated, he added.
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“If this vaccine receives EUA approval, it will be a significant step forward and enable more of us to be protected from COVID-19,” Marcozzi said.
Even if the vaccine gets the green light, Hogan said vaccinating Marylanders will be a long progress.
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WJZ previously got a rare look inside the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Bayview where the vaccine is being manufactured.
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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.