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And a Third

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, as the New York Times reports.

In January, J&J announced that its vaccine had a 66 percent efficacy overall and 85 percent efficacy in preventing severe disease. It reported, though, that its vaccine exhibited a lower efficacy in South Africa where a viral variant has been circulating, but, as the Times notes, the vaccine had a 72 percent efficacy rate at the US clinical trial site and was highly effective against preventing hospitalizations and death.

It is now the third vaccine to receive FDA Emergency Use Authorization, the Times adds, and it is the only one to be given in a one-shot regimen and can be stored for months at refrigerator temperatures. This could help speed vaccination initiatives in the US, Vox adds. It notes that the US is currently providing about 1.5 million vaccine doses a day and if a third of those doses are one-shot doses, Vox estimates that the US could reach herd immunity by the end of the year — or earlier if the number of doses delivered per day rises.