FDA issues emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson vaccine

This is the third COVID-19 vaccine authoritized by the FDA and the first one that requires just one dose.
5:04 | 02/28/21

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Transcript for FDA issues emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson vaccine
We start with breaking news this morning, the food and drug administration has authorized use of a third vaccine against covid, this one produced by Johnson & Johnson. Welcome news as we move into the second year of this pandemic. So far, the CDC says 23 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, nearly 48.5 million have received one dose of the two-dose vaccines that have been until now the only option but that changes this week with Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine. And this morning, delivery trucks are already standing by to start shipping nearly 4 million doses of that new vaccine. One more big step today as CDC advisory panel is set to make recommendations. ABC's elwyn Lopez is in shepherdsville, Kentucky, with more on the rollout. Elwyn, good morning. Reporter: We're at one of those distribution centers for Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. Fake a look behind me, at a distant, you can see those U.P.S. Trucks at the loading docks, they're ready to ship those vaccines. This morning, a new weapon in the fight against the pandemic. The fda adding a third game-changing tool to the U.S. Arsenal against coronavirus, by greenlighting Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine. We're confident in our findings that the vaccine meets our rigorous standards of safety and effectiveness. Reporter: Ready for the rollout. This third shot of hope could come as early as Tuesday. Today, a CDC panel will review the trial's data. The public health agency's director would have to give the final go-ahead. 3.9 million doses of j&j's vaccine ready to ship out. The rest to pharmacies, communities and federally qualified health centers. In clinical trials, the one-dose shot is 85% effective in preventing severe disease. Request more options on the market, officials urge, no matter the vaccine they're all potential life savers. We believe that people should take the vaccine that they're able to access, we feel all these vaccines meet our standards for effectiveness. Reporter: But for many across the country, scoring an appointment is a battle of its own. We feel like we're in the cracks of society, if we were in a nursing home or a retirement home, we probably would have gotten shots right now. Reporter: That's why this 14-year-old launched a group to connect people with those hard to come by shots. It's a great feeling to help people like this. Reporter: Ashley Novoa is among the hundreds the group has helped so far. It's truly amazing way he's doing and all of the volunteers on the Facebook group are doing, I'm so grateful for it. Reporter: Guys, if j&j's -- vaccine tested in communities with some of those concerning variants it performs well. Johnson & Johnson says it can roll UT 100 million doses by the end of June. Joining us now is one of the developers of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Dr. Dan barouch, director of the center for virology and vaccine research at Beth Israel Deaconess medical center. Thank you so much for being with us this morning. Let's start, how confident are you this vaccine will be effective against the new variants? Well, thank you, Eva, it's a pleasure to be here. The j&j vaccine has proven in a effective against variants to be highly effective against major variants around the world including those having originated in Brazil and South Africa. This vaccine has shown to be 100% effective against hospitalizations and deaths and 85% protective against severe disease. I know pfizer and modern are looking whether a third shot, a booster shot, are you going to do something similar with this vaccine? We are. We're also looking at the possibility of additional, revised vaccine constructs moving forward. I think it's good to be prepared for that eventuality, we know that the current vaccine is effective against the variants. It waits to be determined depending on population studies. Now in the trial for your new vaccine, there were minimal side effects, but there were a small number of cases of blood clots, how concerned are you about this? Well, there was a slight numerical imbalance for blood clots, but that was not felt to be sufficient to consider it related to the vaccine and it's something that we monitored moving forward. All right, Dr. Dan barouch, thank you so much for being with Dan, over to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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