Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) - Get Report one-shot coronavirus vaccine on Friday won approval from an advisory committee of independent medical experts, clearing the path for the Food and Drug Administration to approve its emergency use as early as Saturday.
It would mark the third vaccine authorized in the U.S. to combat the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, which has paralyzed much of the world over the past year.
The advisory panel voted 22-0 that the benefits of the vaccine from the New Brunswick, N.J., health-care giant outweighed any potential risks in patients 18 and older.
The review was the last step before clearance from the FDA.
J&J has said it can deliver about 20 million doses of its vaccine in the U.S. by March 31.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson at last check after hours rose 1.5%, to $160.80. The stock fell 2.6% in the regular session.
More than 500,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. So far, more than 70 million doses of vaccine have been given, and more than 22 million Americans, or nearly 7% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
COVID-19-related hospitalizations among people over 65 -- those most at risk of dying from the disease -- have plunged since mid-January, falling from 70 per 100,000 to under 20, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Much of the improvement has been attributed to the widespread vaccination of older people.