Feb 25, 2021 - Health

"This is a race": Fauci urges Americans to take whatever COVID vaccine is available

Dr. Fauci wears a mask and lab coat

Dr. Anthony Fauci Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci is encouraging Americans to take the coronavirus vaccine if it becomes available, regardless of which one it is.

Why it matters: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will be administered in a single shot instead of two doses as required by the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, is expected to soon receive emergency authorization. Fauci said people should not wait to take the marginally more effective vaccines if the Johnson & Johnson shot becomes available to them.

  • "This is a race… between the virus and getting vaccines into people” the nation’s top infectious disease expert told NBC News Thursday. "The longer one waits on getting vaccinated, the better chance the virus has to get a variant or mutation."

Fauci also said he anticipates “nothing but good news” on Friday when the Food and Drug Administration will vote on the authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

If the FDA issues an emergency use authorization "without delay,” White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said J&J will have 3 million to 4 million ready for distribution next week.

The big picture: The U.S. government has struck an agreement with J&J to provide 100 million doses by the end of June.

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