By Eileen A.J. Connelly
The first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine could get emergency approval in as little two weeks, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested late Friday.
“I would be surprised if it was any more than two weeks from now that the data will be analyzed and decisions would be made” about the vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson, Fauci said during an appearance on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show.
“We’ll look at the data and determine if it’s ready to be given to the public,” Fauci said, “so they can go to the FDA to ask if they can get an emergency-use authorization.”
Fauci said the U.S. government was working with pharmaceutical companies on six vaccine candidates, two of which have already gotten the go-ahead for use on an emergency basis, one produced by New York–based Pfizer (NYS:PFE) with German partner BioNTech (NAS:BNTX) (ETR:XE:22UA) and the other from Cambridge, Mass.–based Moderna (NAS:MRNA) . Both vaccines currently being distributed and administered in the U.S. require cold storage and two doses.
The vaccine from New Brunswick, N.J.–headquartered J&J (NYS:JNJ) doesn’t have the same need to be kept supercold, Fauci said, and only requires one dose. Those factors will make a big difference in the ability to get the shots to people, he said. “It gives a wider range of flexibility,” he said.
Johnson & Johnson has said it expects to have 100 million doses available by April .
A vaccine developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University has received emergency authorization in the U.K. and could receive a similar go-ahead in the European Union in mere days . It, too, is relatively easier to store and transport and carries a relatively lower price tag per dose.
Any additional vaccines made available will be a boost for New York, the city and state, as both are running out of doses amid a public scramble for vaccination appointments . Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote a letter Friday to President Joe Biden pleading for more vaccine shipments .
A version of this report appears at NYPost.com.