Michigan may see more of the COVID-19 vaccine produced right here in the state.

The Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing plant in Grand Rapids could end up producing the Johnson & Johnson single-use vaccine soon. As of yesterday, Wednesday, February 24th, 2021, the company is seeking emergency use approval from the Federal Food and Drug Administration, according to Vice President John Wichelt.

Get our free mobile app

Back in the summer of 2020, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing was approached to be a part of Operation Warp Speed by the Trump Administration. Shortly after that, the company finalized a deal to make the vaccine for Johnson & Johnson. The contract itself is a big deal for the economy in West Michigan.

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...said Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Vice President John Wichelt. 

If Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing receives the approval for the vaccine, they would be the second company in Michigan to be producing a vaccine. Pfizer was the first after receiving approval from the FDA in December of 2020.

While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are around 95% effective at protecting against symptomatic COVID-19, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown to be around 66% effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 and 85% effective against most serious illness.

Wichelt is unable to give exact numbers on their vaccines but was able to say that product is ready to go and they have been manufacturing since October.

Source: Mid-Michigan Now

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.


More From WBCKFM