FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson vaccine, set to begin shipping out this week

A third vaccine is joining the race to vaccinate America against the coronavirus. The FDA authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the weekend, and is about to ship out. Errol Barnett has the latest.

Video Transcript

JERICKA DUNN: The race to vaccinate America is getting a big boost. A third vaccine approved this weekend is about to ship out. CBS News Transportation Correspondent Errol Barnett is in Louisville, Kentucky. Good evening, Errol.

ERROL BARNETT: Jericka, good evening. Behind me you see a fleet of UPS aircraft among those set to distribute this Johnson & Johnson vaccine nationwide. It is the literal shot in the arm the country needs to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.

Tonight, the CDC clearing the way for the nation's first single-shot vaccine, joining two existing inoculations in the fight against the pandemic. And while its solo dose and standard refrigeration mean more people will be fully vaccinated quicker, supply is limited. Only 4 million doses have been manufactured ready for immediate shipment. But Johnson & Johnson projects 20 million doses should be available by the end of March and 100 million by the end of June. Its efficacy is lower than existing vaccines. However, President Biden's chief medical advisor asserting today it's important to get whichever vaccine is available as fast as possible.

ANTHONY FAUCI: They are highly efficacious in many ways, including, importantly, preventing severe or critical disease. If you look at all three of them, they're really very good.

ERROL BARNETT: Now both UPS and FedEx will put those vaccine shipments with the unique labels alongside other special deliveries inside cargo holds like this one. They expect to receive those vaccine shipments on Monday, arriving at their destinations Tuesday at the earliest. Jericka?

JERICKA DUNN: Errol Barnett in Louisville, thank you.