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Feb 28, 2021
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(CNN)The United States is poised to get a third coronavirus vaccine -- this one made by Johnson & Johnson.

The US Food and Drug Administration has given the vaccine emergency use authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended it, and the federal government is scheduled to start distribution almost immediately.

Two vaccines are already being distributed in the US -- one made by Moderna and another made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The new vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine division, is a little different. Here's how.

It's one dose
Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is designed to be given as a single dose. That means no follow-up visits, none of the red tape needed to make sure people return for those second shots, and none of the worry about making sure a second dose is available at the right time.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both designed to be given in a two-dose series -- the Pfizer vaccine three weeks apart and Moderna's four weeks apart. There's been discussion about whether it might be OK to give these vaccines as a single dose, or to extend the time between doses so more people can get their first vaccine, and thus get at least some protection.
But the FDA authorization says two doses, and many vaccine experts, including White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, fear giving just one dose of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines might leave people only partly protected.
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