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Gov. Walz calls Johnson & Johnson emergency use a “game-changer”

(FOX 47) -- Johnson & Johnson's single COVID-19 vaccine dose has been given the green light for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. The announcement was made Saturday evening.

"Authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a game-changer in our fight to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic," Gov. Tim Walz wrote in a statement to FOX 47. "This vaccine is safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death. Because it requires only one dose, it will also help us quickly provide immunity to even more Minnesotans who have been waiting so long for protection against COVID-19."

Shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to states could begin as soon as next week. Minnesota will announce allocation decisions for the vaccine as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release recommendations for its use.

"The authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a welcome development. This vaccine has gone through a rigorous regulatory review process and a large, diverse clinical trial, and it has been shown to be safe and highly effective at every stage," Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm wrote in a statement to FOX 47. "This vaccine will save lives, and, alongside previously authorized vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, it represents another step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic."

According to the state's vaccine dashboard on Saturday, more than 800,000 Minnesotans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine and more than 400,000 have received a full two doses.

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Beret Leone

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