CDC Committee Recommends Use of J & J’s Single Injection Covid Vaccine

Illustration of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine

In view of Ruvic | Reuters

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee voted unanimously on Sunday to recommend the use of the one shot Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson for those 18 and older as the federal government prepares to ship million doses this week. .

Once CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, accepts the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the federal government can begin shipping doses to sites across the country. ACIP met in an emergency session to review vaccine data, which on Saturday became the third shot to receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Walensky said on Friday she “would remain ready to consider” the ACIP recommendation and be “ready to sign”.

“We are about to have another vaccine in our toolkits, the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Like many of you, I am delighted to hear that another safe and effective vaccine option could be available as quickly as next week. “She said on Friday.” Having an additional safe and effective vaccine will help protect more people faster. “

J&J Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr Richard Nettles told lawmakers on Tuesday the company was ready to ship nearly 4 million doses as soon as it received emergency use authorization. He added that the company expects to be able to deliver 20 million doses by the end of March.

The introduction of the J&J vaccine could be a boon to the US vaccine supply. While the new vaccine has shown signs of being less effective in preventing Covid-19 in clinical trials compared to that of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the J&J vaccine has been 100% effective in preventing deaths and hospitalizations. caused by Covid-19 in the clinic. testing.

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The level of protection of the J&J vaccine against Covid-19 in trials varied by region, according to FDA documents published Wednesday. About a month after inoculation, the vaccine has been shown to be 72% effective in the United States, 61% in Latin America and 64% in South Africa, where the B.1.351 variant is spreading rapidly.

Notably, the FDA review showed that the vaccine was significantly less effective in people 60 years of age and older who also have co-morbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. The agency noted, however, that the data was too scarce to draw any conclusions.

In contrast, Pfizer’s vaccine was found to be 95% effective in preventing Covid-19, while Moderna’s was found to be around 94% effective. Infectious disease experts have pointed out that J&J’s figures cannot be used as a direct comparison with the other two vaccines because it is a single dose and the company’s trial was conducted when there were more infections as well as new, more contagious variants.

But federal health officials have pointed out that the single-dose J&J diet has unique logistical advantages that could make it ideal for hard-to-reach populations.

J & J’s vaccine “makes operations easier in many settings,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, told the Journal of the American Medical Association at an event on Friday. questions answers. “I expect that a lot of the considerations state health departments have around these vaccines are more about how easy the J&J vaccine is to use and how it might be better suited for certain populations.

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J&J has announced plans to ship the vaccine, which contains five doses per vial, between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. By comparison, Pfizer’s vaccine typically needs to be stored in ultra-cold freezers that keep it between minus 112 and minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit, although the FDA recently said it can be stored at standard drugstore freezing temperatures. up to two weeks. Moderna’s vaccine should be shipped between 13 degrees and 5 degrees above zero Fahrenheit.

– CNBC Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.

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