Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Approved

Sydney Campbell, Senior Design Editor

On Saturday, Feb. 28, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved Johnson & Johnson’s single use COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use only, making it the third approved vaccine for this disease, but the first to require only one dosage instead of two separate shots. 

After a unanimous vote within the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, they ruled that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risks. 

The FDA now plans to rapidly work to finalize and distribute the vaccine, expected to be available for ordering this Sunday. 

Johnson & Johnson announced earlier this week that they expect to have less than four million doses ready to ship after the approval of the emergency use authorization. Originally, the company promised 10 million vaccines by the end of February. 

As for distribution, the CDC announced a plan for the 3.9 million doses: 2.8 million doses distributed amongst states, 800,000 doses for retail pharmacies and 70,000 doses for community vaccine centers. The remaining 90,000 doses will be distributed to federally qualified health centers.  

The single-shot vaccine eliminates a problem found in Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines: accuracy as the vaccine requires a person to get two doses weeks apart.