Health: A Single-Shot Vaccine Advances

The Story:

The US Food and Drug Administration, on February 27, granted an emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson for the distribution of its Covid-19 vaccine. This followed by just one day the recommendation of such an EUA by the FDA’s advisory panel.  The authorization extends to the use of the vaccine for persons 18 years old and up. It brings the number of US marketable Covid vaccines to three.

Significance:

The federal government has plans to distribute nearly 4 million doses of the J&J vaccine to states, pharmacies, and community health centers across the country. J&J will provide the US with 100 million doses by the end of June.

In Pill Form:

One of the factors adding complexity to vaccine distribution is the need to have patients come back for a second shot weeks after the first. There are worries about drop-offs, as people who have had their first shot may believe they’ve done enough, and not bother to return. It isn’t clear what impact the drop-off rate, whatever it might prove to be, will have on the search for population-wide (“herd”) immunity. So for many experts, the addition of a single-shot treatment to the armory comes as a relief.

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