Johnson & Johnson has started shipping its single-shot coronavirus vaccine across the country. Over the weekend, the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for the vaccine, and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine.
The pharmaceutical company said that the initial shipment of four million doses should reach Americans within the next two days.
"We're shipping 4 million literally as we speak," Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said on NBC'sTODAY. "Within the next 24 to 48 hours, Americans should start receiving shots in arms."
Gorsky said his company will deliver enough doses to vaccinate 100 million people by the end of June.
"I really can't think of another time in our history where we've been able to ramp up at this kind of pace. What's also important to remember, when we say 100 million doses by June, that means 100 million vaccinations, patients that have been treated," he said.
Johnson & Johnson's vaccine requires just one dose and can be stored in a regular refrigerator, making it easier to transport than vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer. Both of their vaccines must be kept below freezing to prevent them from spoiling.
"As a one-dose vaccine, people do not have to return for a second dose to be protected," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. "In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures -- so it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites, as supply scales up."
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