Johnson & Johnson received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend. With that milestone achieved, the company is now authorized to distribute its single-shot vaccine for administration, giving the US a third vaccine product to ramp up its vaccination efforts. How will the Janssen shot be rolled out?
Prior to its EUA application, Johnson & Johnson said it was ready to ship its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it received authorization from the FDA. Now that the EUA has been granted, the company is already shipping its vaccine throughout the United States, offering it as an alternative to the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer products. The company is shipping around 4 million doses of its single-shot product, and that’s just the start.
The company expects that some members of the public will start receiving its COVID-19 vaccine within the next day or two, underscoring just how quickly the company is distributing its product. There are some advantages to the Janssen product, especially for more rural areas where equipment may be lacking: it can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, easing the logistical burden associated with Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
At this point, the company anticipates delivering 100 million doses by June, which is around the same time frame public health officials anticipate the average person will be able to walk into a clinic and request the vaccine.
The latest authorization comes amid a big race against the clock, with health officials warning that a sufficient enough number of people must be vaccinated to prevent new variants from popping up. If the vaccination rate takes too long, new variants may appear that the vaccines aren’t as effective against, setting progress back.