The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for widespread emergency distribution amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it will begin hitting states across the country this week.

What happened

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Saturday to recommend the new coronavirus vaccine for widespread use. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the vaccine, too, allowing it to be released to the public.

  • “As a one-dose vaccine, people do not have to return for a second dose to be protected,” Walensky said, according to CNN. “In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures — so it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites, as supply scales up.”
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The CDC’s recommendation came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the third COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, according to ABC News.

  • “The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States,” Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement, per ABC News.

Advisers from the FDA announced Friday that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine would receive emergency use authorization, as I wrote about in a previous article.