U.S. Government Approves Use of Johnson & Johnson’s New Crown Vaccine

The U.S. government has approved the use of Johnson & Johnson’s New Crown vaccine, expanding access and setting the stage for other countries to approve the vaccine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday approved the use of a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s New Crown vaccine for people 18 years of age and older in emergency situations, making it possible for millions of Americans to receive the vaccine.

Janet Woodcock, acting director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement, “Authorizing the use of this vaccine expands the availability of the vaccine, which is the best medical defense against the new coronavirus and can help us fight an outbreak that has already claimed more than 500,000 American lives.”

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was tested on 44,000 people worldwide and found to be 66 percent effective in protecting against moderate and severe neo-coronavirus infection within four weeks of vaccination and 100 percent effective in protecting against hospitalization and death from infection with the virus, with few serious side effects.

Johnson & Johnson’s New Crown vaccine is expected to be widely available worldwide because it is a single-dose vaccine and can be stored and shipped at normal refrigerator temperatures, making it easier to distribute than the New Crown vaccine developed by Pfizer and Modena.

“If we have enough dosing, it could make a very real difference because it’s a single-dose vaccine that will improve the appeal to hard-to-reach people,” says William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, “and we are able to bring the vaccine to the population.”

The U.S. government has purchased 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s New Crown vaccine and plans to distribute about 3 million to 4 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.