During the White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing on February 17, 2021, Jeff Zients, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, stated that the Johnson & Johnson contract would commit delivery of 100 million doses by the end of June. However, the delivery will be back-end loaded and will start with only a few million doses in inventory. Zients added that the government is working with Johnson & Johnson to accelerate the delivery schedule. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still pending FDA authorization and distribution will not start until the vaccine is authorized.
At the same briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, detailed plans to study whether mRNA vaccines prevent virus transmission. He noted that emerging scientific data from Spain and Israel indicate that higher viral loads increase the likelihood of transmissibility. Therefore, the diminished viral loads in vaccinated individuals will likely lead to lower transmissibility rates.
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