US expert panel endorses approval of Johnson & Johnson Covid jab

An expert panel from the US Food and Drug Administration has spoken out in favor of approval of emergency use authorization for a one-dose Covid-19 vaccine developed by US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.

In a meeting broadcast live on Friday, the panel’s experts voted unanimously for approval.

A final decision on emergency use authorization is now up to the FDA, which mostly follows its experts’ recommendations.

It would be the third coronavirus vaccine approved in the United States, and the first that only needs to be injected once. The other two vaccines currently in use in the US are manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The FDA had already given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine good marks in an assessment issued earlier this week.

In mid-February, Johnson & Johnson had also submitted an application for emergency approval to the EU Medicines Agency.

The EMA said it would review the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen-Cilag International N.V. in an expedited manner. The committee responsible for the review might be able to provide its assessment by mid-March.