Johnson & Johnson Now Producing COVID-19 Vaccine in Michigan
Johnson & Johnson has begun producing a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in West Michigan. It is being produced at Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing in Grand Rapids.
The New Jersey company is the second to base its production in Michigan, as Pfizer's largest COVID-19 manufacturing operation is based in Kalamazoo.
Johnson & Johnson is seeking emergence use approval for its vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. That approval is expected on Friday. The company's Vice President John Wichelt announced on Wednesday (2/24) that distribution of the vaccine can begin as soon they get the green light from the FDA.
“Product is ready to go and I can’t tell you the exact numbers but we have been manufacturing since October,” he said.
Wichelt tells Grand Rapids TV station WMMT that the plan to use the West Michigan facility has been in the works since last summer and that it should have a positive impact on the state's economy.
"People with engineering degrees or people who have worked in manufacturing jobs in the past or a science background, these are great entry-level jobs. All the way up to people with experience, the jobs at there," Wichelt said.
The FDA reports that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19, and about 85% effective at preventing more serious cases of the illness.