The nation's top infectious disease expert is encouraging the American public to take the shot "most available to them." It comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency approval of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine.
In an interview with "Meet the Press" Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said all three coronavirus vaccines, including Moderna, Pfizer and now Johnson & Johnson, are "highly efficacious."
"All three of them are really quite good, and people should take the one that's most available to them," Fauci said. "If you go to a place and you have J&J, and that's the one that's available now, I would take it. I personally would do the same thing. I think people need to get vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible."
The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.
Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways.
J&J has said it expects to deliver 20 million doses to the U.S. by March, and 100 million by summer.
Fauci encouraged Americans not to compare shots' efficacy numbers side-by-side because each shot was examined in three different trial settings.
"[The vaccines] were not compared head-to-head. "They were compared under different circumstances," Fauci said. “[The J&J shot is] not the weaker vaccine, they are all three really good vaccines.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.