J&J set to roll out millions of vaccine doses

Feb. 25, 2021

With an approval in sight, Johnson & Johnson said it can deliver millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine next week. 

On Wednesday, the FDA announced that J&J’s shot was shown to be safe and effective, indicating that the agency is close to granting it an approval. Now, assuming an emergency use authorization is given, J&J plans to ship up to 4 million doses of the vaccine next week, 20 million by the end of March, and a total of 100 million doses by June. 

For its late-stage trial, J&J enrolled 44,000 volunteers in the U.S., South Africa and Brazil. All told, the shot was shown to be 66.1 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. In the U.S., the results were better and the vaccine was 72 percent effective. But in South Africa, where a new variant of the coronavirus has been spreading, J&J’s shot was 52-64 percent effective.

If approved, J&J’s shot will be the third to enter the U.S. market, behind candidates from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. If J&J makes good on its rollout plans, its entry into the market could boost the U.S.’s capacity for completed vaccinations to 20 percent by the end of March.