Monday, March 1, 2021
J&J Vaccine Authorization Should Help Bolster National Supply
Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, a decision that now gives the world yet another important tool in the fight against the virus.
The most recent (at the time of writing) COVID-19 statistics from the CDC* reflected 75.2 million administered vaccine doses, up from 55.2 million as of our last update. Of those administered doses, 7.1 million have gone to seniors in long-term care communities, with that number up from 5.97 million as of Feb. 17. The stats also indicate that in the US, 24.8 million people have now received their two, recommended vaccine doses, including 2.4 million resident seniors in long-term care facilities.
Across the Discovery Senior Living organization, more than 92% of communities nationwide either have their vaccine clinics in progress or already scheduled. That amounts (at the time of writing) to more than 8,800 doses to resident seniors and 2,200 more for our dedicated team members.
Now, it now appears there’s additional help on the way, as the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). J&J’s will become the third, available vaccine being used in the fight against COVID-19, an important and much-needed development at a time when vaccine supply remains limited across most US states.
Critics have been quick to point out that the J&J vaccine has proven less-effective in large-scale US trials** (72%). However, it has distinct advantages as well. The J&J vaccine requires only one dose and doesn’t require ultra-low temperatures for storage, making it much easier to transport and maintain. It’s possible that the J&J formula might be distributed among younger populations, as well as in urban centers and rural outposts where vaccine supply is limited and it’s currently proving more challenging to administer two, recommended doses of the other, approved vaccines (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).
Also, in recent Congressional testimony, leaders from both Pfizer and Moderna promised that vaccine production and delivery would “dramatically increase” this Spring, helping to counter supply issues that have been well-publicized in the early months of vaccine administration. Forbes reported*** that the manufacturers testified as follows:
- Pfizer-BioNTech: Expects to have delivered 120 million doses to US government by March 31; 80 million additional doses by May 31; on track to deliver 300 million doses by July 31
- Moderna: Will have delivered 100 million doses by March 31; on track to deliver 300 million doses by July 31
- Johnson & Johnson: Following recent FDA emergency use authorization, the company expects to deliver 20 million doses by March 31; 100 million by July 1
President Biden said earlier this week that assuming these deliveries are met, every American desiring a vaccine would be able to receive one by the end of July, Forbes reported.
As our organization continues to administer vaccines to residents and team members, we will post regular news and updates on our community websites and Facebook pages. Please check back regularly for the latest information.