An advisory panel with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted on Sunday to approve the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the coronavirus for adults over 18.
CDC head Rochelle Walensky has already made final move to roll out the Johnson & Johnson drug compound, endorsing the panel's recommendation, according to The Hill. As she noted in a statement, "people do not have to return for a second dose to be protected because Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine." Apart from that, the drug is easily transportable as it "does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures."
"This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time. CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination," Walensky said.
According to recent reports, some severe allergic reactions, including one potentially life-threatening anaphylactic, were revealed in South Africa by health workers during the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial.
Earlier on Saturday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Johnson & Johnson for emergency use in the country. According to the regulator, the vaccine is effective in 66–67% of cases in preventing a disease of "moderate" severity and in 77–85% of cases in preventing "severe" cases.
This is the third vaccine approved for use in the US. In December 2020, the regulator approved a vaccine developed in partnership between American company Pfizer and German company BioNTech, along with another vaccine produced by Moderna.
On 26 February, US President Joe Biden announced that over 50 million American citizens had already been immunized. According to him, vaccinations in the US are ahead of schedule, as he previously promised to vaccinate 100 million Americans during the first 100 days of his presidency.
According to Johns Hopkins University data tracking, the US has recorded 28.6 million cases of the COVID-19 infection along with at least 513,000 deaths. For both indicators, the country ranks first in the world.