The lag comes, however, as the pace of vaccination has slowed in recent weeks and nearly half of the eligible U.S. population – people 12 and older – are already fully vaccinated. The J&J vaccine is authorized for use in persons 18 years of age and older.
Nearly 11 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – about half of the more than 21 million doses that have been delivered to states and other jurisdictions – have not been administered, according to CDC data.
However, the doses will go overseas, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said. “We are shipping doses of Johnson & Johnson to other countries,” Zients told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that the FDA had authorized an extension of the shelf life of its Covid-19 vaccine. The move increases the vaccine’s refrigerated storage time from three months to 4.5 months, and comes as some states have said currently available doses must expire in late June, potentially before they can be used.