Illustration of Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus vaccine
Considering Ruvic Reuters
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, signed Sunday Johnson & Johnsona single-dose Covid-19 vaccine for those 18 and older as the federal government prepares to deliver millions of doses this week.
Walensky’s green light comes after the CDC advisory board unanimously voted a recommendation for use Johnson & Johnsonvaccine.
“Today marks an encouraging step towards the end of the # COVID19 pandemic,” Walensky wrote on Twitter. “I have now signed a recommendation from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) which has supported the safety and efficacy of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine for people over 18 years of age.”
The federal government can now begin delivering doses to locations across the country. ACIP met in an emergency session to review data on the vaccine, which was held on Saturday became the third shot to receive emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
J&J Vice President for Medical Affairs dr. Richard Nettles told lawmakers on Tuesday that the company is ready to deliver nearly 4 million doses as soon as it gets approval for emergency use. He added that the company expects to be able to provide 20 million doses by the end of March.
The introduction of J&J footage could be good for the U.S. vaccine offering. Although the new vaccine has shown signs of being less effective in preventing Covid-19 in clinical trials compared to Pfizer–BioNTech i Modern vaccine, J&J was 100% effective in preventing Covid-19-induced deaths and hospitalizations in clinical trials.
The level of protection of the J&J vaccine against Covid-19 in the trials varied depending on the region, according to FDA documents published on Wednesday. About a month after vaccination, the shooting showed 72% efficiency in the US, 61% in Latin America and 64% in South Africa, where variant B.1.351 is spreading rapidly.
Significantly, the FDA review showed that the vaccine was significantly less effective in people older than 60 who have comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. The agency, however, noted that the data were too scarce to draw conclusions.
In contrast, the Pfizer vaccine was found to be 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 in clinical trials, while Moderna was found to be about 94% effective. Infectious disease experts pointed out that the J&J numbers could not be used as a direct comparison to the other two vaccines because it was a single dose, and the company was tested when there were more infections, as well as new, more contagious variants.
But federal health officials have pointed out that the one-time J&J regime comes with unique logistical benefits that could make it ideal for the hard-to-reach population.
J & J’s vaccine “makes it operationally easier in many contexts,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, for the Journal of the American Medical Association on Friday at a Q&A event. “I expect a lot of the considerations that state health ministries have about these vaccines to say more about the ease of use of the J&J vaccine and how it might be more appropriate for some populations.”
J&J said it plans to ship the vaccine, which contains five doses per bottle, to 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, the Pfizer vaccine should usually be stored in ultra-cold freezers which keep it between minus 112 and minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit, although the FDA recently stated that it can be stored at standard freezing temperatures in pharmacies for up to two weeks. Modern vaccine must be delivered at a temperature of 13 to 5 degrees Celsius.
– CNBCs Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.