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March 2, 2021

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US has 3 vaccine choices after J&J shot approved

Top US infectious disease official Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday he was encouraging Americans to accept any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, including the newly approved Johnson & Johnson shot.

“All three of them are really quite good, and people should take the one that’s most available to them. If you go to a place and you have J&J, and that’s the one that’s available now, I would take it,” Fauci said.

The US government authorized Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, making it the third available in the country following ones from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Both of those vaccines require two doses and need to be shipped frozen. The J&J vaccine can be shipped and stored at normal refrigerator temperatures. It was given final approval for widespread use on Sunday.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed higher efficacy rates in trials that used two doses versus J&J’s single-shot vaccine.

However, Fauci and other experts say direct comparison is difficult because the trials had different goals and J&J’s was conducted while more contagious new variants of the virus were circulating.

He said studies are underway to determine their effectiveness and safety for children under 18, who are less likely to get sick from the virus.

Elementary school students could get doses toward the end of the year or the beginning of next year, and high school students could get it in the fall, Fauci said.

The new vaccine gives the US another option as it tries to immunize as many Americans as quickly as possible. About 14 percent of Americans have received at least one dose so far.

President Joe Biden has said there should be enough supply to vaccinate all Americans by the end of July.


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