Dr. Anthony Fauci is expecting “nothing but good news” when the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee votes Friday to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration allows emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine.
“To have two is fine; to have three is absolutely better,” Fauci, the nation’s top disease expert told NBC “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie Thursday.
Federal documentation says the newest vaccine is 86% effective against serious outcomes of COVID-19. Unlike the other two vaccines, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson offering is administered in just one shot, not two.
The other vaccines have higher efficacy rates, but Fauci encouraged Americans to take a vaccine when it is available because the longer people wait to get their shots, “the better chance the virus has to get a variant or mutation.”
Pfizer and BioNTech announced Thursday that they would be testing a new version of their vaccine to target emerging South Africa variants of the virus, but Fauci stressed that even with the variants out there, the vaccines are still effective.
Moderna is also shipping doses of a variant-specific booster shot to the National Institutes of Health, reports NBC News.
Studies already show that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are effective against a variant from the United Kingdom, the predominant strain that is starting to spread in the United States.
Fauci, though, warned that even more variants will likely occur, but that is even more reason to get a vaccine because viruses won’t mutate unless they get the chance.
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