CDC Committee OK's Johnson & Johnson COVID Shot

Widely expected nod comes a day after the FDA grants emergency use of one-dose vaccine.
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Just after getting an emergency OK from the Food and Drug Administration, Johnson & Johnson's  (JNJ) - Get Report one-shot COVID vaccine got the expected OK on Sunday afternoon from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The step is necessary to allow the company to begin distributing the vaccine in the U.S., making it the third such vaccine available for Americans.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to approve the shot for people 18 and older. One member abstained from voting because of a conflict, according to Reuters. 

The advisory committee is made up of independent health experts who advise the CDC on vaccine use and its recommendation.

"The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a lower efficacy compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but it’s still going to be an extremely useful tool in the toolbox," Zoë Hyde, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at the University of Western Australia, told TheStreet recently. "What makes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a game-changer, is that it’s a single-dose vaccine. This means it will rapidly cut down the time required to vaccinate people, and bring the U.S. epidemic to an end more quickly."

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found in a large trial to be around 72% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. The Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report and Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report shots require two doses, but were more than 94% effective in their studies.

Earlier in the weekend, Johnson's vaccine received an emergency-use authorization from the FDA. It plans to file for a Biologics License Application with the FDA later in 2021, according to the company.

“For more than 130 years, Johnson & Johnson has come to the aid of people during times of crisis, and we believe today’s recommendation from the CDC to begin use of our vaccine as part of the U.S. national immunization program will add a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson in a statement. “This recommendation follows the FDA’s decision to grant an Emergency Use Authorization for our single-shot vaccine, which has the potential to play a pivotal role in helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”