FRIDAY, June 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) — US regulators extend the expiration date of millions of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine dosage for six weeks, the company announced Thursday.
A US Food and Drug Administration review concluded that the shots remain safe and effective for at least 4 1/2 months, J&J said in a statement. In February, the FDA for the first time authorized the vaccine to be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures for up to three months.
State officials warned earlier this week that many J&K supplements in storage would run out before the end of the month. FDA change gives health providers more time to use shots sitting in pharmacies, hospitals and clinics, The Associated Press Reported. Many states have taken a “first-in-first-out” approach to trying and using their oldest vaccines first.
Vaccine expiration dates are based on drug manufacturers’ information about how long the shots remain viable. J&J said the FDA added six weeks based on data from the company’s ongoing studies on the vaccine’s stability.
The FDA is reviewing the expiration dates of all three vaccines authorized in this country as companies continue to test batches in the months since the first shots were introduced. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna authorized in December have a shelf life of six months, AP Reported.
Unfortunately, vaccination rates have declined in recent weeks: the country received an average of about 800,000 new injections per day last week. This is down from a high of about 2 million daily shots two months ago, AP Reported. Government officials and companies have turned to incentives to encourage the shots, including paid time off and $1 million lottery prizes.
As vaccination slows, Biden aims to partially vaccinate 70% of adults who are at risk by July 4. As of Friday, about 64% of Americans over the age of 18 have had at least one shot, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The J&J vaccine was highly anticipated because of its simplified formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration. The shot was expected to play an important role in vaccination campaigns in rural areas and low-income countries with limited health care, AP Reported.
But rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have already supplied enough doses to meet US demand. More than 129 million Americans have been fully vaccinated with the companies’ two-dose shots, AP Reported. Meanwhile, just 11 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J shot. According to the CDC, about 10 million more J&K doses have been sent to the states.
J&J’s use of the vaccine also appears to have been hurt by a link to a rare Blood Clot disorders. That issue prompted US health officials to “pause” the use of the shot for 11 days. That hold was lifted in late April after officials concluded the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks.
G-7 joins US in pledging to send vaccine doses to countries in need
Leaders of the G-7, the world’s richest democracy, promised on Friday to send 1 billion doses of COVID vaccines to poor and middle-income countries as part of a campaign to “vaccinate the world by the end of the world”. 2022.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States plans to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, which it will donate to needy countries around the world. For the rest of the G-7, the UK will donate 100 million doses, while other G-7 members will contribute the remainder, AP Reported.
“It’s about our responsibility, our humanitarian obligation, to save as many lives as we can,” Biden said in a speech in England on Thursday evening before the start of the G-7 meeting. “When we see people hurt and suffering anywhere around the world, we want to help in every way we can.”
Three people familiar with the plan reported that the United States will send the first of its 200 million doses donated this year, with another 300 million to be shared in the first half of next year. Washington Post on Wednesday. COVAX, an initiative supported by the World Health Organization, will distribute doses to low- and middle-income countries, to share COVID-19 doses around the world.
Several public health experts and advocacy groups hailed the news, saying US leadership on the issue will be key to getting the world vaccinated.
“This is an extraordinary development,” explained Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. Post. The plan “sends a profound signal in terms of US commitment to global health security and its willingness to help end it”. pandemic pandemic For the world and the United States,” he added.
“It’s worthwhile, but not enough in itself,” said Thomas Bolicki, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of its global health program.
On the one hand, the 500 million doses is nearly six times the number of doses COVAX has delivered so far, he pointed out. Post. On the other hand, this is only a quarter of the 2 billion doses COVAX will deliver this year. The newspaper said that so far COVAX has supplied only 82 million doses to 129 countries.
“These doses of Pfizer will go to many countries,” Bollicki said. “The big question is, in what order and in what quantity? This commitment will have a significant impact on the public health impact.”
The gap between having and not having vaccines is wide: more than half the population in the United States and Britain has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while less than 2 percent of people in Africa have received a shot.
Tom Hart, executive CEO of One Campaign, an organization focused on fighting global poverty and preventable disease, said in a statement: “We will not end this global pandemic anywhere until we beat it everywhere. ” “Dosing COVAX will save lives, reduce the spread of the variant, and help reopen the global economy. We ask other G-7 countries to follow the example of the US and donate more doses to COVAX. urge. If ever there was a time for global ambition and action to end the pandemic, it is now.”