Henry Ford doctor talks about Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials held at hospital

There's good news in the fight against COVID-19 with the approval of a third vaccine after the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee met to review the safety of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

FDA authorization came late Friday. Medical staff at Henry Ford Hospital are waiting for that outcome because its hospital served as a study site for the Johnson and Johnson clinical trial.

"We see that this vaccine is very effective in preventing moderate to severe disease," said Dr. Paul Kilgore, Henry Ford co-principal investigator in the vaccine trial.. "Overall in the United States 72 percent efficacy. And then when we talk about the more severe disease, 86 percent efficacy, and then in preventing hospitalizations and deaths we're talking about numbers much higher, at 100 percent."

During its trial. Henry Ford Hospital paid close attention to communities of color. 

"In our trial site here in Detroit, we enrolled in very high proportions relative to the overall population for African Americans," Kilgore said.

Doctors welcome a third player in the vaccine community because vaccine supplies have been low across the country including in Michigan. 

"We have the capacity to deliver more than 25,000 shots each week that 2 and a half times more than what we are actually providing," said Dr. Usamah Mossallam, Henry Ford emergency medicine physician.

Now approved, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could help the state get more vaccine to eligible Michiganders helping to prevent this virus from spreading and save more lives. 

"If Johnson and Johnson get that Emergency Use Authorization, the state expects an additional 83,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson," Mossallum said.