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J&J Seeks Authorization

Johnson & Johnson is seeking an Emergency Use Authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from the US Food and Drug Administration, CNN reports.

J&J announced last week that its adenovirus-vector SARS-CoV-2 vaccine — which is offered in a one-dose regimen — has a 66 percent efficacy rate in preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19. The company's findings, though, indicated that the candidate vaccine may be less effective against the viral strain identified in South Africa.

CNN notes that the FDA has scheduled a meeting for later this month of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which will examine the company's vaccine data and make a recommendation. If the FDA is to issue an EUA for J&J's vaccine, it would not then come until the end of the month, CNN adds.

"Adding a third vaccine to the mix would add both supply and flexibility to the struggling US efforts to vaccinate the population," CNN says, adding that J&J's vaccine, in addition to being given as a single dose, and can be stored for months at refrigerator temperatures.

The FDA has previously authorized SARS-CoV-2 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.