Approval of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine could come this week

PITTSBURGH — Health officials believe Johnson & Johnson will get the go ahead for its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week.

The Food and Drug Administration is set to meet Friday to possibly approve Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which many say is essential as demand for COVID-19 shots continues to grow amid low supply.

If approved, emergency use authorization could be granted shortly after.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in briefing documents that the vaccine has a “favorable safety profile with no specific safety concerns.”

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Johnson & Johnson’s shot would be the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on the market, meaning more people would be able to get vaccinated more quickly.

The company said it could have upward to 100 million doses ready by the end of June.

Doctors in Pittsburgh said having the vaccine would be a game changer.

“If the information the manufacturer has given us about the vaccine -- it’s been 100% successful in preventing serious complications like hospitalizations and deaths -- that’s fantastic,” Dr. Graham Snyder, UPMC medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology, said.

While the wait continues for the new vaccine option, this week’s allocation of approved COVID-19 vaccines for Pennsylvania is the highest for a single week since they started shipping in mid-December.