CDC Recommends One-Shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine After FDA Authorizes Emergency Use

Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the United States.

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to adults 18 years and older in the U.S., according to the Washington Post.

And on Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the vaccine, according to a statement from the federal agency.

"After a thorough analysis of the data, the FDA's scientists and physicians have determined that the vaccine meets the FDA's expectations for safety and effectiveness appropriate for the authorization of a vaccine for emergency use," said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "With today's authorization, we are adding another vaccine in our medical toolbox to fight this virus."

Marks added, "At the same time, the American people can be assured of the FDA's unwavering commitment to public health through our comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the data submitted for vaccines to prevent COVID-19."

The vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is the third approved to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, following the authorization of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. It is the first that requires only one shot and the first that can be stored at refrigerator temperatures for months at a time.

Doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected to begin shipping on Monday, according to the Associated Press, which also reported that the company will be providing a "few million doses."

Johnson & Johnson said 20 million doses will then be available by the end of March in the U.S., followed by 100 million by the summer, the AP reported.

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Earlier this month, the FDA released a report confirming that the vaccine is 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19.

Though the overall effectiveness of the latest vaccine isn't as strong as Pfizer and Moderna's numbers, 95 percent and 94 percent, respectively, infectious disease experts said it is impossible to draw direct comparisons as Johnson & Johnson is a single dose and trials were conducted when there were more variants and infections, CNBC reported.

After the announcement, President Joe Biden released a statement calling the decision "exciting news for all Americans, and an encouraging development in our efforts to bring an end to the crisis."

"We know that the more people get vaccinated, the faster we will overcome the virus, get back to our friends and loved ones, and get our economy back on track," Biden, 78, added. "Thanks to the brilliance of our scientists, the resilience of our people, and the eagerness of Americans in every community to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated, we are moving in the right direction."

Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a former acting director of the CDC, recently praised the FDA's decision to have three vaccines made available for the public.

"With three COVID-19 vaccines now available, the number of cases and deaths around the country continuing to fall, and Congress taking steps toward approving additional critically needed economic relief, I have never been more encouraged that we might be finally turning the corner on this pandemic," he said in a statement obtained by NBC News.

Over 70 million vaccine doses have been administered across the country as of Sunday afternoon, according to CDC data. 

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