COVINGTON, Ky. – A third COVID-19 vaccination option could be on the way soon – a panel approved unanimously The use of the emergency clearance for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Friday afternoon and FDA approval could be granted shortly.
The world’s largest study for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was conducted in Covington.
Tim Schroeder, CEO of CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting Services, has been involved in more than 100 drug approvals in his career.
“I have to say that this one will always have a special place,” he said. “Just because of the circumstances in which the research was conducted and the positive impact it will ultimately have on society.”
He said the region had played a key role in all three vaccines developed to date.
“Cincinnati Children’s led the Pfizer effort. UC led the Moderna effort. We were fortunate enough to lead the J&J effort, ”said Schröder. “In some ways this is really unique, especially for a region and a population of a few million.”
Worldwide, the company recruited 43,000 people to take part in the study, 500 of them in the tri-state. Half received the vaccine, the other half a placebo. Participants are monitored for two years. Schröder said most of the minorities took part in the study.
So far, side effects have included mild body pain, headache, or fever.
“If we have a new vaccine like influenza every year, we usually examine thousands of patients,” said Schröder. “In this case, we’re examining tens of thousands of patients.”
Local governments believe that the more vaccines are available, the easier it will be to get them into the hands of those who need them.
“Based on our current plans, we will have a lot more independent pharmacies out there ready, able, and ready to step on the table and help the communities,” said Andy Beshear, Kentucky governor.
Ohio health officials said the panel’s approval of the vaccine was a welcome sign.
“It is clear that it is 100% effective in South Africa and Brazil as well, preventing hospitalization and death. Very encouraging, “said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health Medical Associate. “Is one better than the other? At this point in time when we are in a pandemic, you should take whatever is offered to you. “
Once FDA clears final approval, Johnson & Johnson could have up to 4 million doses ready for shipping next week and up to 10 million for the next month.