US panel backs J&J vaccine against COVID-19



FILE - This file photo from Dec. 2, 2020, distributed by Johnson & Johnson, shows vials of Janssen's COVID-19 vaccine.  (Johnson & Johnson via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – This file photo from Dec. 2, 2020, distributed by Johnson & Johnson, shows vials of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

A US advisory panel endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s new single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, the third option to bolster the national campaign against the coronavirus pandemic.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted overwhelmingly in favor of recommending the vaccine for adults 18 years of age and older. The day before, the Food and Drug Administration authorized its emergency use.

Members of the advisory group emphasized that the three vaccines now available in the United States offer a high level of protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus, including hospitalization and death.

J&J plans to ship several million doses to the states next week, and by the end of March it will have delivered 20 million inoculations. Health authorities are eager for an easier-to-use vaccine against COVID-19, which has killed more than 511,000 Americans and continues to mutate worryingly.

The CDC’s recommendations are not binding on state governments or physicians, but are highly regarded by the medical community. The same CDC panel previously recommended the use of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, licensed in December.

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