A third coronavirus vaccine is now approved for emergency use in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson‘s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the FDA and recommended on Sunday (February 28) by the CDC’s advisory committee for adults 18 years and older in the U.S., via the Washington Post.
“After a thorough analysis of the data, the FDA’s scientists and physicians have determined that the vaccine meets the FDA’s expectations for safety and effectiveness appropriate for the authorization of a vaccine for emergency use,” said the FDA
The vaccine is the first that requires only one shot, and the first that can be stored at refrigerator temperatures for months at a time.
Doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected to begin shipping on Monday (March 1), according to the Associated Press, and the company already has a “few million doses,” promising 20 million doses will be available by the end of March in the U.S., and 100 million by the summer.
The FDA confirmed that the vaccine is 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. While the effectiveness isn’t as strong as Pfizer and Moderna’s numbers, experts say that it shouldn’t be compared because trials were conducted when there were more variants, unlike the first two approved vaccines.
“We’re a single shot…and now we’ve produced data that say that our vaccine is highly effective, 85% effective against severe COVID, 100% effective against hospitalization or death,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D. and the global head of Janssen Research & Development said at the time.
“We know that the more people get vaccinated, the faster we will overcome the virus, get back to our friends and loved ones, and get our economy back on track. Thanks to the brilliance of our scientists, the resilience of our people, and the eagerness of Americans in every community to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated, we are moving in the right direction,” he went on to say.
Over 70 million vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far, according to CDC data.