Single-shot vaccine's other advantages may soon outweigh lower efficacy, Fauci says

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WASHINGTON — The pre-eminent infectious disease expert in the United States is urging people not to sell short the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says Johnson and Johnson's vaccine has virtues beyond an efficacy rate that lags that of its predecessors.

The vaccine, which has proven 72 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in the U.S., also helps to prevent death and hospitalization, needs only basic refrigeration and requires just one dose.

Fauci says some people may find it a good alternative to the current crop of double-dose, deep-freeze vaccines, which are 95 per cent effective at preventing infection.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but is likely to be next in the pipeline.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, says time will tell whether different vaccines should be aimed at different demographic groups.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press