Johnson & Johnson says that it has four million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine ready to ship “immediately” once it receives emergency use authorization, which could happen this week.
In an analysis just released, the US Food and Drug Administration said the company’s single-dose vaccine has met the requirements for emergency use authorization.
However, despite the excitement and anticipation, there are still several steps Johnson & Johnson has to go through before the vaccine will be available.
Here’s what happens next:
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets on Friday to review data on the vaccine and decide whether to recommend it for emergency use authorization in adults 18 and older.
Once the vaccine is authorized, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, makes recommendations to the CDC on how the vaccine should be used, such as among what age groups and on what type of schedule. An emergency meeting of ACIP is scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 1.
Typically, the CDC director accepts the committee’s recommendation. Shortly after that, the vaccine can be distributed, and can start going into arms.
What everyone wants to know is where the federal government will send those doses, and who they’ll be steered toward.
“We’re hoping that ACIP will provide some guidance on the most effective use of the J&J one dose vaccine,” Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, wrote in an email to CNN on Tuesday.
“States are looking for guidance for use of the vaccine in populations which might really benefit from the one dose series complete, such as transient populations,” Hannan said. “We aren’t hearing much on this.”
You can read more about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine here.