On Saturday, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine, meaning that it will soon be publicly available in the U.S
The decision followed a positive recommendation from an expert committee that reviewed Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine data from multiple clinical trials.
This is now the third Covid-19 vaccine that has been granted Emergency Use Authorization, following the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines last year.
Johnson & Johnson has already manufactured millions of doses of the vaccine, and members of the public will start to receive the shots in March.
The company says that it will have 20 million doses of the vaccine available in the U.S. by the end of March, and 100 million doses by the end of June.
Johnson & Johnson submitted data to the FDA showing that its vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe Covid-19 vaccine. No one who got the vaccine in the clinical trials was hospitalized or died from Covid-19. This is the first authorized Covid-19 vaccine that uses a harmless virus to deliver DNA into cells, which then create spike proteins that activate the immune system. The other authorized vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech use a new mRNA technology.
While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective at preventing symptomatic disease, it has several benefits over its competitors. It can be stored in normal refrigerator temperatures instead of freezers, and it is effective after just one injection. This makes it especially attractive to rural communities in the U.S. and low-income countries that might not have specialized storage abilities.
The company says that it will continue to conduct clinical trials of the vaccine and it will also test whether two doses are more effective than one.
“There are parts of the U.S. where there is less vaccine than other parts, and getting a third vaccine out there only helps to get more vaccine into people’s arms,” pediatric infectious disease physician Rishi Desai told Forbes.
2.5 million. That’s how many people have died worldwide from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic only slightly over a year ago.
Everything You Need To Know About Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 Vaccine (Forbes)
How The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Works (New York Times)
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