- Dr. Anthony Fauci urged Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but not to choose the brand they receive.
- An FDA advisory committee will vote Friday on Johnson & Johnson’s approval of a coronavirus vaccine.
- “People should get vaccinated … When a vaccine is available, take it,” Fauci said on NBC News.
- Visit the Insider Business section for more stories.
America’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, urged Americans to get vaccinated against coronavirus and not choose the brand they receive.
New data from the Food and Drug Administration showed that the single-dose coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson was safe and effective, which could dramatically accelerate the vaccine’s distribution schedule in the US.
An advisory committee will vote on giving the J&J vaccine the green light for distribution on Friday, allowing it to join the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in the U.S. launch. If the vaccine is approved, the United States could finish vaccinate priority groups by March, Insider’s Aria Bendix reported.
In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY,” Fauci expressed optimism about the possible administration of a third vaccine to Americans.
“Having two is fine; having three is absolutely better,” Fauci said during the “TODAY” segment. “It’s better because there are more options. It’s better because the vaccine supply increases.”
The J&J injection is a single dose, compared to the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which are usually given three to four weeks apart. Federal data shows that the newer vaccine was 66% effective in preventing severe cases of COVID-19, while the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine were respectively 94% and 95% effective.
However, “it’s almost as good at preventing hospitalizations and deaths,” Insider’s Hilary Brueck reported.
The infectious disease expert urged Americans to get vaccinated as soon as it is available to them, regardless of brand.
“This is a race between the virus and giving people vaccines,” Fauci said. “The longer a person waits to get vaccinated, the more likely it is that the virus has a variant or a mutation.”
“So the sooner we get the vaccine to people, whatever the vaccine is, once the FDA gets it, if it’s available, get it,” Fauci said.