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West Michigan company plays part in Johnson & Johnson manufacturing

Posted at 9:42 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 21:47:53-05

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Grand Rapids-based company Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing is packing and filling vials for the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

After leaving their facility in Grand Rapids, the vaccines go back to Johnson and Johnson for final distribution.

The company's CEO said Monday that this is an exciting time to be part of history.

“This is the type of thing you tell your grandkids about,” said Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing CEO Tom Ross.

GRAM was selected by Operation Warp Speed in August and contracted with Johnson & Johnson in September.

Their role in manufacturing portions of the vaccine is expanding, so much so, they're building a new facility near the Gerald R. Ford airport they expect to be finished this summer.

"This is great news. This is great news for our country. Great news for the world. And certainly great news for West Michigan,” Ross said.

Erich Hudson was part of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial in Grand Rapids. He received the real dose of vaccine as opposed to the placebo, information he found out after he became eligible for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as a teacher.

“I’ve watched all my teacher friends go through the two-dose vaccine. The one nice thing about Johnson and Johnson is it’s just one shot,” Hudson said.

The single-shot vaccine is said to be 85% effective against serious illness and 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.

“I couldn’t believe that we have a big part of the trial, right here in Grand Rapids. People I know from the group are driving all over from Michigan to be a part of it,” Hudson said.