ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As states desperately await for more doses of the limited coronavirus vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is hoping that another company will begin producing their version of their COVID-19 vaccine soon.

State officials said one of the companies getting closer to production is Johnson & Johnson, who have a contract with Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions for a covid-19 vaccine.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine Dr. David Marcozzi called the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a “game changer” because it’s a single-dose shot. The current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.

“There is good news as there are more COVID-19 vaccines getting closer to being authorized for use,” Marcozzi said. “It is anticipated that Johnson and Johnson’s COVID vaccine efficacy data will be available in a few weeks and shortly thereafter [it] will be submitted to the FDA for consideration. The J&J vaccine is a single dose shot with less cold change storage requirements. So the authorization of this vaccine could be a game changer.”

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Officials say once the FDA approves this vaccine, it will improve vaccine availability and assist vaccination efforts not just in Maryland, but around the country.

Emergent BioSolutions, based in Gaithersburg and Baltimore, would manufacture the vaccine here in Maryland. The company has contracts with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

Hogan said as soon as they are given the FDA authorization, they will be able to “crank them out.”

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The governor said he will be speaking to the CEO soon and will know more.

Note: This story was originally published on Jan. 26, 2021.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff