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US to get 3rd coronavirus vaccine; FDA clears J&J's 1-dose shot

The FDA said J&J's vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalisations, and death

twitter-logoPTI | February 28, 2021 | Updated 08:11 IST
US to get 3rd coronavirus vaccine; FDA clears J&J's 1-dose shot
By the end of March, J&J has said it expects to deliver 20 million doses to the US, and 100 million by summer

The US is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations as they race against a virus that has already killed more than 510,000 people in the US and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways.

The FDA said J&J's vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalisations, and death.

Also Read: Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine effective, safe: FDA

One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents - protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

"The more vaccines that have high efficacy that we can get into play, the better," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, said ahead of the FDA's ruling.

Also Read: COVID-19 vaccine: US health experts endorse J&J's single-shot jab

Shipments of a few million doses to be divided among states could begin as early as Monday. By the end of March, J&J has said it expects to deliver 20 million doses to the US, and 100 million by summer.

J&J also is seeking authorisation for emergency use of its vaccine in Europe and from the World Health Organization. Worldwide, the company aims to produce about 1 billion doses globally by the end of the year. On Thursday, the island nation of Bahrain became the first to clear its use.

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