Here’s what’s expected today on the latest US Covid-19 stimulus bill.


A healthcare worker fills a syringe from a vial with a dose of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine as South Africa continues its inoculation campaign at Klerksdorp Hospital on February 18. Phill Magakoe / AFP / Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine “ticks almost every box” on a list of what is needed in a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Greg Poland, head of the Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, said Friday. May.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective, and it has the advantage of being a single-dose vaccine with no special storage requirements, Poland said at a meeting of US Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisers.

“We need a vaccine that can be mass produced quickly,” Poland said. “We would like to see a reasonable duration of efficacy and protection.

“Janssen’s vaccine candidate meets almost all the requirements.”

The FDA Vaccines and Related Biologicals Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet to discuss the vaccine and will vote later Friday on whether to recommend FDA emergency use authorization. The FDA almost always follows the committee’s recommendations.

“There are only three ways the pandemic can be controlled,” Poland told the committee. “First it’s a tough blockade,” with universal masking and social distancing, he said. “Second, the virus mutates to be less transmissible,” he added, but noted that more transmissible variants are already emerging and spreading.

The third is vaccination. “Vaccines are our main weapons to counter and control this threat,” Poland said.

He noted that the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division was studied in several countries when the virus spread rapidly and when new variants circulated.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which, if licensed, would be the third to be approved for the US, provided 85% protection against serious illness and the need for hospitalization in advanced phase 3 clinical trials.

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