After a error at a manufacturing facility in Baltimore last week millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine ruined, the Biden administration entrusts Johnson & Johnson with responsibility for the plant, ad Saturday.
The plant, which is owned by manufacturing entrepreneur Emergent BioSolutions, previously produced two varieties of the Covid-19 vaccine, of which only the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the United States. Now Johnson & Johnson will be the only vaccine produced at the facility as the company takes control, reported the New York Times Saturday.
Johnson & Johnson’s shot, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in late February, is a single injection vaccine, unlike the mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna which require two doses to be fully effective, and it only requires one refrigerator, rather than a freezer, to store.
Its also extremely effective clinical trial results suggest that it prevents around 85% of severe and critical cases of Covid-19 and 100% of deaths and hospitalizations after four weeks, despite some early concerns about how the firing of Johnson & Johnson compares to the Pfizer and Moderna Coups.
As Voxs Umair Irfan explained last month,
[Johnson & Johnson] reported that its overall effectiveness in preventing cases of Covid-19 that produced symptoms was 66.1%. Moderna vaccine and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines have reported efficacy levels of around 95%.
This gap in efficacy figures is fueling the perception of some that the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is not as good.
However, according to Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins University, such a direct comparison is difficult and vaccines are fundamentally interchangeable.
I don’t even look at those efficiency numbers and compare them like that, Adalja told Vox. Biostats 101: You can’t compare the results of trials like this unless they’ve been done one-on-one.
In one declarationJohnson & Johnson said it takes full responsibility for manufacturing at the Baltimore plant and will significantly increase its staff there.
According to the Times, the mistake that precipitated Saturday’s announcement and ruined some 15 million vaccine doses came after a confusion between separate vaccine vectors used by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which are incompatible.
However, Johnson & Johnson pointed out in a declaration On Wednesday, it would continue to apply for emergency use authorization for the Emergents facility in Baltimore, and it would still meet its vaccine delivery targets.
Johnson & Johnson is ready to deliver 24 million additional vaccine doses by the end of April, and nearly 100 million total at the end of May. President Joe Biden has pledged that every American adult will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine by May 1, and recently set a new target of 200 million gunshots at the end of their first 100 days in office. .
In one declaration On Saturday, AstraZeneca, which developed the other vaccine being produced at the Emergent Baltimore plant, said it was working to identify another manufacturing site.
The United States invested in storage of AstraZeneca doses for use in the United States last year in anticipation of an emergency use authorization that has yet to materialize, according to the New York Times.
Even before Saturday, however, the AstraZenecas Covid-19 vaccine struggled as the company hopes it will become the fourth coronavirus vaccine to receive a emergency use authorization in the USA.
In March, an independent advisory board of the National Institutes of Health criticized the company for using outdated and potentially misleading efficacy data in a press release, according to Voxs Umair Irfan; since then, AstraZeneca has released more comprehensive data showing a slightly lower but still high efficiency rate of around 76%.
Separately, there was a wave of concern last month after regulators in several European countries suspended distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns about blood clots, but the European Union has since concluded that the vaccine was safe and efficient.
Despite findings from EU regulatory agencies, the AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved for use in the United States; therefore, the Biden administration ad in March, it would send doses of AstraZeneca from the US stockpile to Canada and Mexico, both of which have signed the vaccine.
US mass immunization effort accelerates
Despite the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca setbacks last month, vaccine news in the United States is extremely good right now. With three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use and increasing distribution, the country has continued to establish immunization registries.
Saturday, Covid-19 White House adviser Andy Slavitt says, the United States administered more than 4 million vaccines, exceeding the country’s average for the week above 3 million shots per day for the first time.
NEW: 4.1 million vaccines reported today.
From 3.5 million last Saturday.
Andy Slavitt (@ aslavitt46) April 3, 2021
In addition, more than 100 million people in the United States have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, CNNs Ryan Struyk tweeted Friday. From Saturday, according to Struyk, this means that 2 in 5 American adults have received at least one dose.
There has also been positive news regarding the effectiveness of several Covid-19 vaccines already authorized in the United States.
A new study last week confirmed that Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines provide substantial protection against Covid-19 under real conditions, even after a single injection.
According to the study, both vaccines were about 80% effective after the first doses and 90% after two doses.
The Wall Street Journal too reported Thursday that the Pfizer vaccine remains very effective six months after its second dose, an indication that the protection could last even longer.
Yet the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, is urging caution, despite the good news.
We have so much to hope for, so much promise and potential from where we are and so much to hope for, but for now, I’m afraid, she said last week, warning that the cases of Covid-19 in the United States have started to climb again.
According to the coronavirus The data followed by The New York Times, cases have climbed 19% in the United States in the past two weeks; the seven day moving average stands at nearly 65,200 cases per day on Saturday.
We’re almost there, but not quite yet, Walensky said. And so I ask you to hold on a little longer, to get yourself vaccinated when you can so that all the people we all love are still there when this pandemic ends.
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