US approves third COVID-19 vaccine as Florida reports 5,000 new cases

Johnson & Johnson becomes third approved coronavirus vaccine in United States

FILE - This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium. The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.(Johnson & Johnson via AP, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Saturday, the FDA cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways.

The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

J&J initially is providing a few million doses and shipments to states could begin as early as Monday. By the end of March, J&J has said it expects to deliver 20 million doses to the U.S., and 100 million by summer.

To read more about the new vaccine that may be coming to a site near you, click or tap here.

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Feb. 28.