The FDA gave an emergency use authorization of a one-shot coronavirus vaccine by Johnson & Johnson on Saturday, marking the third coronavirus shot allowed to be administered to Americans.
Johnson and Johnson said that it expects to have 4 million doses of the vaccine ready for shipment this week.
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which garnered approval in December, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine comes in one dose.
“The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “The FDA, through our open and transparent scientific review process, has now authorized three COVID-19 vaccines with the urgency called for during this pandemic, using the agency’s rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.”
Initial results released by Johnson & Johnson earlier this month indicated that the vaccine reduced severe instances of the disease by 85 percent, and no person who took the vaccine died as a result.
The findings also found that the vaccine was 66 percent effective in completely preventing the disease. The two vaccines that have been approved for emergency use both showed to be more than 90% effective in preventing all cases of the disease.
Johnson & Johnson has committed to delivering 20 million doses to the federal government by the end of March.
As of Saturday, more than 72 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines have been administered. Twenty-three million Americans have been fully vaccinated while an additional 25 million Americans are awaiting the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.