03/05/2021

What Does Johnson & Johnson’s Shot Mean for Our Vaccine Timeline?

12:10 minutes

This story is part of Science Friday’s coverage on the novel coronavirus, the agent of the disease COVID-19. Listen to experts discuss the spread, outbreak response, and treatment.


The U.S. now has a third COVID-19 vaccine in our arsenal, as Johnson & Johnson’s shot got emergency approval last weekend. This one is different from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already in use: It’s only one dose, it’s inexpensive, and it doesn’t require very cold temperatures for storage. This means rural communities might get vaccinated faster, and our timeline to possible COVID-19 herd immunity could improve.

Scaling up vaccinations will be critical as the homegrown U.S. COVID-19 variants are taking hold. Variants from California and New York are becoming more widespread, though it doesn’t seem like we’ll need to change our strategy for fighting COVID-19 yet.

Ira is joined by Umair Irfan, staff writer at Vox, to talk about these stories and other big science news of the week.


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Segment Guests

Umair Irfan

Umair Irfan is a staff writer for Vox, based in Washington, DC.

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