The Food and Drug Administration took another step toward granting emergency use authorization to a third COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, announcing that a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine showed 86% efficacy against severe cases of disease in a U.S. trial. An advisory panel of vaccine experts meets Friday to discuss the findings, with the FDA set to authorize the vaccine as early as Saturday. This is White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients.
Jeffrey Zients: “Johnson & Johnson has announced it aims to deliver a total of 20 million doses by the end of March. We’re working with the company to accelerate the pace and time frame by which they deliver the full hundred million doses, which is required by contract by the end of June.”
Moderna says it has produced a new version of its COVID-19 vaccine that offers better protection against a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa. The modified vaccine will be tested as both a booster shot and as a primary vaccine, with further plans to test a “mutlivalent” booster that could protect people against multiple variants of coronavirus.
This comes as researchers have identified a new variant in New York City and other parts of the northeastern U.S. that appears to have mutations similar to those seen in South Africa and elsewhere.