On Friday, a US panel recommended the one-dose Covid shot for emergency approval. The United States’ emergency use authorisation, now expected shortly, of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would follow those for the Pfizer and Moderna doses.
Joe Biden, the US president, said: “We’re going to use every conceivable way to expand manufacturing of the vaccine… and make even more rapid progress.”
Johnson & Johnson stressed that its vaccine was proven to work with a single shot and could be stored long-term at standard fridge temperatures, which “offers logistical and practical advantages”.
On Saturday, South Africa received its second consignment of Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines. The country of almost 59 million people, which has seen nearly 50,000 succumb to the virus, has been widely criticised for its slow procurement of vaccines and lack of strategy.
The majority of initial doses received two weeks ago have been administered to more than 63,600 healthcare workers since vaccinations began 11 days ago.