NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, the third vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the U.S. during the pandemic.
“The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States,” acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Johnson & Johnson's shot works with just one dose instead of two.
Officials hope a single-shot vaccine will help speed up vaccinations against the coronavirus, which has killed over 500,000 people in the U.S. and infected millions more.
The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness.
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 U.S., and 100 million by summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.