As new variants of COVID-19 emerge, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been given the green light by the U.S. FDA for emergency use. This will be the first single shot vaccine released to fight COVID-19. As early as Tuesday morning, 3.9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed to states, tribes, territories, pharmacies, and community health centers. While the vaccine will be limited at first, Johnson & Johnson expects to increase production within the coming months. By the end of March, we should see an additional 16 million doses distributed. The company is committed to delivering 100 million doses by June and “up to a billion” by the end of 2021. Since their vaccine is one dose that will equate to as many people being treated as vaccinations.
This week the United States passed 500,000 Covid-19 related deaths, a devastating milestone. While we continue our fight against this global pandemic, there are signs that things will get better sooner rather than later. Today the FDA endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. This is welcomed news for the fight against Covid-19 and critical step in getting back to a sense of normalcy. With this endorsement this now brings a third vaccine to the U.S. marketplace with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already being rolled out.
A third round of stimulus checks could be just weeks away from approval. The original forecasted date is March 14th, however on Friday House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi said she aims to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package in two weeks. While there are still delays that may arise, if a bill were to pass before the end of February, payments could start to arrive as early as March 8th for direct deposit checks. Biden said Friday, “I’m going to act, and I’m going to act fast.”
In an effort to help speed up vaccine distribution, Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft are all working to help get COVID-19 vaccinations out to the public. Working alongside President Biden, their goal is to administer 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days of his administration. Recent results show that even though 39 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed, only 2.8 million people have been fully vaccinated.