Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to start being doled out as early as next week. This comes after an FDA panel recommended that the J&J COVID vaccine should be granted emergency use authorization.
This is the third vaccine to receive approval in the United States, but the first that only requires one dose. It’s also easy to ship and store since it only requires refrigeration.
Earlier this week, the FDA reported that the J&J vaccine is 86% effective against severe disease in the U.S., and 82% effective against the South African variant. What is most remarkable is that studies show its 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. According to Politico:
Vaccine experts and health care providers insist that the J&J shot could take a key role in curbing Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths. While the vaccine is less effective than its authorized peers at broadly preventing infection — and significantly less effective against B.1.351, the variant first found in South Africa — it is extremely effective at curbing severe illness.
J&J executives are keen to emphasize this advantage.
The company says it will be able to distribute 20 million doses by the end of March and 100 million by June. ABC reports that “4 million doses would be expected to start shipping as early as Monday.”