WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — A third coronavirus vaccine has received all the necessary approvals from the FDA and the CDC. Officials said the approval of this vaccine from Johnson & Johnson should make a drastic impact in the number of people vaccinated since this is a one-dose vaccine.
So far about 7% of Americans have been fully vaccinated. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine means millions of additional doses will be available this week.
“We have the opportunity for even more people to get immunized as soon as possible,” said Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health.
Collins encouraged Americans to take whatever vaccine becomes available to them first.
“I hope everybody is aware of just how amazing it is, that we can talk here today at the end of February, about a third vaccine that has gone through rigorous trials and has been proven safe and effective in tens of thousands of people,” Collins said.
Last week President Joe Biden said preparations were already underway to ensure widespread production and distributions of this third vaccine once it was approved.
“We’ll use every conceivable way to expand manufacturing of the vaccine,” Biden said, “and we’ll make even more rapid progress on overall vaccine in March.”
Despite the good news on the third vaccine and a decrease in COVID cases, Johns Hopkins said more than 69,000 Americans died from COVID-19 in the past month. That’s why officials say it’s so important to continue practicing the coronavirus safety protocols.