FDA approves Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine

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Nearly 4 million doses of J&J’s vaccine will be available this coming week.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, marking another historic milestone in helping the nation emerge from the pandemic.

© Johnson & Johnson

The FDA’s emergency use authorization given on Saturday kickstarts the federal government’s plan to distribute nearly 4 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine to states, pharmacies and community health centers across the nation this upcoming week. Unlike Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose regimen eliminates the need for patients to return for a second dose and it can be stored at refrigerator temperatures for months.

Walgreens said it  will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and federal and state governments to support the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s newly authorized vaccine, once available.

“Walgreens has been at the forefront of administering COVID-19 vaccines since they became available in December,” said John Standley, president of Walgreens. “Our pharmacists and technicians have provided more than 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccinations across our most vulnerable populations, including those in underserved communities. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine provides yet another powerful tool to help turn the tide on this pandemic.”

As part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Walgreens is currently administering a weekly allocation of more than 480,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna to eligible individuals across 28 states and jurisdictions, including:

• Arizona, Alaska, California, Chicago, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Walgreens is leveraging several different models of care to reach vulnerable and underserved communities across the nation, including in-store and off-site vaccination clinics. While inventory remains limited, eligible individuals can schedule appointments by visiting, calling 1-800-Walgreens or through their state department of health website.

“FDA’s authorization of a third COVID-19 vaccine candidate — a one-dose formulation — delivers additional hope that we will be able to provide more Americans greater access to vaccines while slowing the rate of infection. HDA appreciates the hard work of our manufacturer trading partners and the FDA in providing another option that strengthens the country’s fight against this virus,” added Chip Davis, president and CEO of The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA).

“HDA members already are integrally engaged in distributing COVID-19 related medical supplies, PPE, therapeutics and vaccines across the U.S. As an industry, we stand ready to do more. Leveraging strong relationships with 1,400 manufacturers and more than 180,000 providers, distributors have the capacity, infrastructure and customer networks to move billions of products where they are most needed, with the ability to mobilize quickly. As the Biden administration ramps up this historic vaccination campaign, our members will continue to engage with federal and state governments to help deliver vaccines safely and efficiently to communities far and wide,” Davis concluded.



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