Johnson & Johnson’s first coronavirus vaccines could be given as early as Tuesday, senior officials in the Biden administration said on Sunday.
The drugmaker, which was approved this weekend for emergency use of its vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is expected to deliver 4 million vaccines this week.
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Officials have said that after that, however, they expect deliveries to be “spotty” until March.
By the end of March, Johnson & Johnson expects to have delivered 20 million shots. The company has promised to distribute 100 million doses by the summer.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky on Sunday endorsed an advisory committee’s recommendation to approve the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
She said the shootings come at a “potentially pivotal moment”.
“The latest CDC data suggests that recent declines in Covid-19 cases may be stagnating and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers,” Walensky said in a statement.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is intended for adults 18 years of age and older. It is the only single dose vaccine against the virus.
The vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna require two injections, three to four weeks apart.
All three vaccines are “very effective,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday, and urged people to take the proposed vaccine.
“If you go to a place and you have J&J and that’s the one that’s available now, I would take it. Personally, I would do the same,” Fauci said. “I think people need to get vaccinated as quickly and as quickly as possible.”
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