Dr. Fauci: Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine May Get Approved In Two Weeks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing an application for an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said that the approval could happen within the next two weeks.

"The J&J data right now, that we discussed last week, is being reviewed with the FDA right now, so we could see literally within a week or so that they wind up getting the kind of emergency use authorization," he told NBC's Savannah Guthrie. "I don't want to get ahead of the FDA, but I would not be surprised, Savannah, if this happens within the next week or two."

The single-shot vaccine was found to be 66% effective in preventing COVID-19, though the efficacy varied by region. In the U.S., it was about 72% effective, while in South Africa, where a new, more infectious strain was spreading, it was just 57% effective.

The FDA said it would consider any treatment that is at least 50% effective as long as it is deemed safe.

Dr. Fauci was also asked about a report that Astrazeneca's vaccine candidate was found to reduce the transmission of the virus. He said that he was encouraged by the news because even if the vaccines are not 100% effective, they give the country more tools to put an end to the global pandemic.

"If that's true, it's good news. Yet again, another vaccine candidate in the mix. We heard yesterday about the Russian Sputnik candidate, which had over 90 percent efficacy. J&J, Johnson & Johnson, from last week, also had some good results. So as we are going on getting into February, we're going to have multiple candidates in the mix, which is good news."

Photo: Getty Images

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