Unlike Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, J&J’s one-dose regimen eliminates the need for patients to return for a second dose and can be stored at refrigerator temperatures for months.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the United States important backup in the fight against the pandemic.
The FDA’s emergency use authorization should significantly aid the federal government’s plan to distribute nearly 4 million doses of J&J’s vaccine to states, pharmacies and community health centers across the nation next week.
J&J’s vaccine “makes it operationally easier in lots of contexts,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told the Journal of the American Medical Association during a Q&A event on Friday. “I expect lots of considerations state health departments are having around these vaccines is more about the ease of use of the J&J vaccine and how it might be better suited for some populations.”
The company expects to deliver 20 million doses by the end of March, J&J’s vice president of U.S. medical affairs, Dr. Richard Nettles, told House lawmakers on Tuesday. J&J has a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine by the end of June, and U.S. officials say they are working with the company to ramp up supply as quickly as possible.