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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new one-shot COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson has been deemed “safe and effective” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and could potentially be approved for use by adults within a few days, reports say.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine differs from the two previously authorized by the FDA – Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech – in that it only requires a single dose as opposed to two separate doses.
The well-known pharmaceutical company reports an overall efficacy rate of 66 percent in preventing moderate-to-severe cases of COVID-19, 85 percent effectiveness overall in preventing severe COVID-related disease, and 100 percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-related hospitalization and death. It is also more effective against the recently-discovered South African COVID strain than initially thought, and is already in use in that country.
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In addition, Johnson & Johnson is also looking into a more effective, two-shot version of the vaccine; if it comes to fruition, recipients of the initial one-dose vaccine may be encouraged to get a booster shot. Currently, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is possibly less effective on paper than its Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna counterparts, although experts are quick to point out the lack of COVID variants in existence while the first two vaccines were in development.
Johnson & Johnson submitted the paperwork for FDA approval of the vaccine on Thursday, and an FDA advisory committee will be holding a meeting on Friday to look over the data on the well-known pharmaceutical company’s vaccine and make their determination as to whether or not to approve it.
Experts are expecting the FDA to give the vaccine a thumbs-up, which would go a long way towards helping to address COVID-19 vaccine shortages across the country. If approved, Johnson & Johnson has said that they will provide 20 million doses by the end of March, and 100 million doses by June 2021; this will go along with additional doses – 300 million each – that Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have agreed to deliver by July.