Transcript for Johnson & Johnson 1-shot vaccine approved
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here as we start another week together and we begin tonight with promising news in the fight against the coronavirus here in this and a new word of caution tonight from the CDC, but first, that new weapon. The third vaccine in the U.S. Millions of does of that Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine are already being shipped tonight. The first doses shipping out trucks rolling out from this facility in Kentucky bound for all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Shipping out from Tennessee, as well. Nearly 4 million doses shipping out this week. 20 million by the end of this month. 100 million by the end of June. Tonight, more than 50 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Nearly 20% of adults in this country now. But it is a race against those concerning variants. Tonight, the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle walensky, warning the decline in cases is now stalling, that there's been a slight uptick again, cases and depths actually rising 2% in the last week. Dr. Walensky saying today now is not the time to lift public health restrictions. So, where is this new one-dose vaccine headed first? ABC's Eva pilgrim leading us off tonight from Kentucky. Reporter: Tonight, a shot of hope for a virus-weary nation. Workers at this massive Kentucky warehouse marking that first box with the message "Get healthy" as they shipped out the much anticipated vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. It's always a privilege to be apart of doing something that's going to save lives. Reporter: The new vaccine requires just one shot and no special freezers for storage. Today, the initial batch of nearly 4 million doses loaded onto trucks, then onto planes bound for all corners of this country. 2.8 million of those doses are going to state and local governments, 800,000 to pharmacies and the rest to community and federal health centers. The first shots could go into arms as early as tomorrow. Officials insist that all communities will have equal access. That doesn't mean that every vaccination site will have every vaccine, but it means that all vaccines will reach all communities. Reporter: The company promising to deliver another 16 million doses by the end of March, but those doses not expected to come until the last two weeks of the month. The country's third vaccine is 85% effective at preventing severe disease and 100% effective against hospitalizations and death. We have three highly efficacious vaccines that are safe. That's the bottom line. Reporter: And unlike the pfizer and modern vaccines, Johnson & Johnson's was tested in South Africa and Brazil against those highly contagious variants. We kept all the patients out of the hospital. We kept all the patients from dying. And again, this is with single dose against some of the most difficult strains. Reporter: It's those variants that worry experts. The CDC director today warning against relaxing safeguards just as the country is seeing a slight uptick in cases and deaths. Please hear me clearly. At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress. Reporter: But at least six seven states are relaxes restrictions just this week. With things kind of waning now and with the vaccine so much more prevalent now, I think it's a good time to go out. Reporter: South Carolina lifting rules on mass gathering and bars. It's brilliant. It's fantastic. It's about time. Reporter: In Florida, officials already concerned about large crowds beginning to gather for spring break. All right, so, let's get to Eva with us outside that warehouse in Kentucky where this Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shipping out. And we remember Dr. Jha telling us when this third vaccine was approved, he suspected vaccines would become wildly available by may, June to July for everyone who might want to get one. That was his predictions, just given the math of all three of these vaccines. Let's hope so. We're going to continue to track that. In the meantime, in your report there, the CDC director was very clear that even with this enkoushlging news tonight, that we must remain vigilant with these variants and the potential, she says, for another surge. Reporter: Yeah, she has said that, David. Dr. Walensky has said that we may be done with the virus, but the virus is not done with us. Warning people not to become too complacent, that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. David? Eva pilgrim leading us off here on a Monday night. Eva, thank you.
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