Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot and President Biden has already contracted 20 million doses to be delivered by the end of March.
This morning, a Food Drug Administration (FDA) report said a Johnson & Johnson vaccine met the requirements for an emergency use authorization. The new vaccine only requires one shot compared to the current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that require two shots approximately two weeks apart.
An FDA committee will officially meet on Friday to discuss the trial results and decide whether or not to grant an emergency use authorization. If an emergency use authorization is granted to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the White House is expecting to allocate 3-4 million doses of the vaccine to states and pharmacies next week, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients confirmed.
20 million doses by the end of March
President Biden has already contracted Johnson & Johnson for 20 million doses by the end of March and 100 million doses by the end of June. However, the White House is working with Johnson & Johnson in an effort to hasten that pace, Zients said.
“We want the American people to know that we’re doing the work so that if the EUA is granted we will waste no time getting this life-saving vaccine into the arms of Americans,” Zients added.
Currently, the government is working with governors, community health centers and local pharmacies to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This week, 14.5 million doses were allocated to states across the country. This puts the administration on track to reach the president’s ambitious goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. By working closely with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and any new vaccine companies to arise, the White House is now aiming to go above and beyond that goal, Zients said.
“The President pushes us every day to figure out everything we can do as a whole of government effort, partnering with governors, local health officials and others to do all we can to vaccinate as many Americans as fast, efficiently and as equitably as possible,” Zients said. “So we view the 100 million shots in 100 days as a floor, and we plan to exceed that goal.”
Free Masks for Underprivileged Communities
The White House also announced a new effort to provide masks free of charge to at-risk and low-income communities. More than 25 million masks will be delivered to over 1,300 Community Health Centers and 600,000 food pantries/soup kitchens.
All Americans who need a mask can walk into these health centers and food pantries and receive a high-quality, American-made, reusable and fitting cotton mask. This new effort is part of the Biden Administration’s focus on equity as many underprivileged communities have been the hardest hit by COVID-19.
“The action we’re announcing today is a targeted step to help Americans respond to the President’s challenge to mask up to protect themselves and their fellow Americans, as we encourage people to continue to mask up,” Zients said.