After a mistake at a Baltimore manufacturing plant last week destroyed millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, Biden’s administration puts Johnson & Johnson at the helm of the plant, she said Saturday.
The plant, which is owned by Emergent BioSolutions, has previously produced two varieties of Covid-19 vaccine, of which only the Johnson & Johnson shot has been approved for emergency use in the United States. Johnson & Johnson will now be the only vaccine produced at the facility as the company takes control, the New York Times reported Saturday.
The Johnson & Johnson shot, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late February, is a single-shot vaccine, unlike the mRNA-based Covid-1
It is also extremely effective – the results of clinical trials show that it prevents about 85 percent of “severe and critical cases of Covid-19” and 100 percent of deaths and hospitalizations after four weeks – despite some early concerns about how the shot of Johnson and Johnson against the shots of Pfizer and Moderna.
As Umair Irfan explained last month,
[Johnson & Johnson] reported that its overall effectiveness in preventing Covid-19 cases that produced symptoms was 66.1%. Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech report efficacy levels of about 95 percent.
This difference in efficacy fuels some people’s perception that the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is not as good.
However, according to Dr. Amesh Adalya of Johns Hopkins University, such a direct comparison is made and vaccines are “basically interchangeable.”
“I don’t even look at these performance figures and compare them head to head like that,” Adalya told Vox. “Biostat 101: You cannot compare test results this way unless they are done directly.”
In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said it “takes full responsibility” for production at the Baltimore plant and will “significantly increase” its staff there.
According to the Times, the mistake that accelerated the announcement on Saturday – and destroyed about 15 million doses of vaccine – came after mixing between individual vaccine vectors used by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which are incompatible.
However, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement Wednesday that it would continue to seek emergency use for the Emergent Baltimore facility and that it would still meet its vaccine supply targets.
Johnson & Johnson is expected to deliver about 24 million additional doses of vaccine by the end of April and a total of about 100 million by the end of May. President Joe Biden has promised that every adult in the United States will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine by May 1, and recently set a new target of 200 million gunshots by the end of his first 100 days in office.
In a statement Saturday, AstraZeneca, which developed the other vaccine produced at the Baltimore emergency plant, said it was working to “identify an alternative place to produce.”
The United States invested in accumulating doses of AstraZeneca for use in the United States last year pending an emergency use permit, which has not yet been implemented, according to the New York Times.
Before Saturday, however, AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was in vogue, as the company hopes to become the fourth coronavirus vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the United States.
In March, an independent advisory board to the National Institutes of Health criticized the company for using “outdated and potentially misleading” efficacy data in a press release, according to Vox’s Umair Irfan; since then, AstraZeneca has published more complete data showing a slightly lower – but still strong – efficiency rate of around 76 percent.
Separately, there was a surge of concern last month after regulators in several European countries stopped distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about blood clots, but the European Union has since concluded that the shot was “safe and effective”.
Despite the findings of the EU regulatory agency, the AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved for use in the United States; therefore, the Biden administration announced in March that it would send doses of AstraZeneca from U.S. stockpiles to Canada and Mexico, both of which signed the vaccine.
Efforts for mass vaccination in the United States are accelerating
Despite the failures of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca last month, vaccine news in the United States is extremely good at the moment. With the three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use and distribution, the country continued to set vaccination records.
On Saturday, according to Covid-19 White House adviser Andy Slavit, the United States administered more than 4 million vaccines, hitting the country’s average for the week for more than 3 million shots a day.
NEW: 4.1 million vaccines are reported today.
From 3.5 million last Saturday.
– Andy Slavit (@ aslavitt46) April 3, 2021
In addition, more than 100 million people in the United States have now received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Ryan Struke tweeted. As of Saturday, according to Struyk, this means that 2 out of 5 adults in the United States have received at least one dose.
There is also positive news about the effectiveness of several Covid-19 vaccines that are already approved for use in the United States.
A new study last week confirmed that the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines provide significant protection against Covid-19 in real conditions, even after just one shot.
According to the study, both vaccines were about 80% effective after the first doses and completely 90% effective after two doses.
The Wall Street Journal also reported Thursday that the Pfizer vaccine “remains highly effective six months after its second dose, an indication that protection may last even longer.”
However, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Valensky, insists on caution, despite the good news.
“We have so much to look forward to, so many promises and potential where we are and so many reasons to hope, but I’m scared right now,” she said last week, warning that Covid-19 cases in the United States have begun to climb again. .
According to coronavirus data tracked by the New York Times, cases in the United States have risen 19 percent in the past two weeks; the moving seven-day average is almost 65,200 cases per day as of Saturday.
“We’re almost there, but not quite yet,” Valenski said. “So please wait a little longer, get vaccinated when you can, so that all the people we all love stay here when this pandemic ends.”