Johnson & Johnson vaccine effective against COVID-19 variants

New data shows that the single-dose inoculation, which could get FDA emergency use authorization by Friday night, may be 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death from the virus.
3:32 | 02/25/21

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Transcript for Johnson & Johnson vaccine effective against COVID-19 variants
We'll begin with new hope on the vaccine front. So far more than 13.6% of the population have received at least one dose of the two-shot vaccines and Johnson & Johnson has now released encouraging data ahead of the fda review this Friday for their single dose vaccine. Johnson & Johnson working overtime at its Memphis storage facility to get its vaccine out as soon as possible. This as that concerning new variant spreads through New York City. Whit Johnson is at a mass vaccination site in Manhattan with the latest on it all. Good morning, whit. Reporter: Michael, good morning to you. That new variant here in new York City is only adding to the urgency to speed up vaccinations. Researchers still don't know if it's more contagious or more but still it needs more study as well. This as many of the vaccinemakers are already preparing booster shots to deal with these ever evolving variants. This morning, alarming evidence a new covid variant is spreading rapidly in New York City. Researchers arguing this could be yet another variant of concern like the uk, south African and Brazilian variants. We really need to accelerate our rate of vaccination and it's all hands on deck to try to get the American people vaccinated. Reporter: Some of the them raising questions about the impact on vaccines. Pfizer announcing they're talking to regulators about test their own variant specific booster offering a third dose to 144 clinical trial participants. Moderna taking similar action, sending modified vaccines for the south African variant to the nih for testing including a combination formula for those getting their first shots should that become necessary. And there is new hope on the Johnson & Johnson on the verge of adding a third vaccine in the U.S. This one shown to be effective against the variants. The vaccine provides very robust protection throughout the world including against the worrisome viral variants we've been hearing so much about. Reporter: New data showing Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine may be 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death and early analysis hinting it may offer 70% protection against asymptomatic infections making those less likely to spread the disease. The fda meeting tomorrow and could give emergency use authorization as early as Friday night. If the j&j vaccine is approved it will provide an increase in vaccine supply to the U.S. And to the world and will accelerate the rollout. Reporter: Up to 4 million doses ready to ship right away, 20 million by the end of March. That's below earlier estimates. The white house saying it's working with Johnson & Johnson to speed up delivery. If authorized we are ready to roll out this vaccine without Reporter: The nih also launching new research to study so-called long haulers, one-third of covid patients say they have persistent symptoms for months after contracting the virus. People like Kaitlyn Dennis, a former college athlete now on daily medication and fighting brain fog. Some days I can go around the block but once you've crossed that line of it being too much, my body just shuts down and I'm in bed for a few days. Reporter: Now back to that new variant here in New York City, researchers say they've identified at least 80 cases across the tri-state area. They also say that it shares a mutation in common with a variant from South Africa and one from Brazil but it is unique on its own and, again, will require further investigation.

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