'We're shipping as we speak': Johnson & Johnson vaccine expected to arrive in 24 to 48 hours

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By and , KCBS Radio

States around the country are eagerly checking the mail for shipments of the latest coronavirus vaccine to gain federal approval: the single-dose Johnson & Johnson drug.

Johnson & Johnson only has four million doses to ship right now. That's a third of what it was hoping to have at the end of February, but the company has projected it will be able to ship 20 million by the end of the month.

"We’re shipping as we speak," Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told "CBS This Morning" early Monday. The expectation is those four million doses will be out to the U.S. government "over the next 24 to 48 hours," who will then work with the states on a distribution strategy, Gorsky added.

It’s still unclear how soon we'll see these shots in our local vaccination sites.

Meanwhile, experts are hopeful this will help stem any outbreaks due to variants in the virus. They can be used for hard-to-reach communities like the homeless or rural areas, which should help limit the spread of any outbreaks due to variants.

It’s called Ring Vaccination. That’s where you identify the infected person, then inoculate all the contacts around them. The Johnson & Johnson shot makes it easier to get to that next layer and contain transmission.

That makes states like California happy.

"That single dose provides opportunities to bring those doses and vaccines to where people are because those doses don’t require the storage that the Moderna and Pfizer doses require and again, they’re just a single dose," Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should make it easier to find appointments as California transitions to a new distribution system run by Blue Shield starting Monday.

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