As FDA advisers recommend authorizing a 3rd vaccine, a Covid-19 surge hangs in the balance

Even with a third vaccine nearing authorization and a rise in vaccination rates, officials say another devastating Covid-19 spike could be on the horizon depending on what the United States does next.

"The question that hangs in the balance right now is, will we have a fourth surge?" Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. "Every uncontrolled spread increases the risk that there will be dangerous variants that can be more infectious, more deadly, or can escape from immune protection."

A US Food and Drug Administration committee on Friday recommended that Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine be authorized for emergency use. The FDA is expected to act on the recommendation quickly, meaning the vaccine may be available early next week.

That's as the number of reported vaccinations reported by the US Centers for Disease Control Friday was almost 2.2 million more than reported a day earlier. Now, 14.2% of the total US population has received at least one dose, according to the CDC.