“This is really great news,” Dr. Esther Choo, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Oregon Health and Science, told CNN on Saturday. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine … performs very well, still has an exceptional safety profile and then has the added benefit of great convenience.”
“It was such a challenge to get even one dose for many people,” Chu said. “Registering for a second, tracking it, getting transportation, it’s just a huge barrier for a lot of Americans, and then, of course, in harder-to-reach places, including rural America, it’s just a huge logistical challenge.”
The J&J vaccine will “significantly” increase the availability of vaccines
More than 23.6 million people received both doses of the vaccine. This is approximately 7.1% of the US population.
“The J&J vaccine, which is easier to transport and store … will dramatically increase our availability of vaccines,” Dr. Jonathan Rainer, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN on Saturday. “It’s a big, big deal.”
About 3.9 million doses will be available to order immediately, according to Lori Tremel Freeman, chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Officials – which could add about 25 percent more Covid-19 vaccination capacity to states.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox told CNN he expects the state to receive “several thousand doses” in the next few days.
“We expect gunshots next week,” Cox said. “We know that they currently have about 4 million doses on hand, ready to come out. They will start delivering them, we think, on Monday. We should have these photos, I think, on Wednesday. And photos in arms on Thursday and Friday. It’s a big deal for our country and for Americans everywhere. ”
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday that an emergency permit for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would mean the state would receive another 15,000 doses immediately this week.
Now is not the time to abandon security measures
While the third emergency authorization for Covid-19 may be better news, health officials have repeatedly warned that now is definitely not the time to abandon safety measures that work to fight the spread of the virus.
And the reduction that has occurred in the event that the number of hospitalizations now appears to be leveling off at these high levels, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Valensky warned during a briefing at the White House on Friday.
“Over the past few weeks, cases and hospital admissions in the United States have been declining since early January, and deaths have been declining in the past week,” she said. “But recent data suggests that these declines may slow down, potentially catching up with a still very large number. We at the CDC see this as a very worrying shift in trajectory.”
Experts have warned that another surge of Covid-19 could only be weeks later, this time fueled by variants of the virus. Of particular concern is the highly contagious variant B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom, which the CDC estimates will be prevalent in the United States until next month.
“The CDC is concerned about the continued proliferation of variants in the United States, predicting that variants such as variant B.1.1.7, which is thought to be about 50% more transmitted than the wild-type strain, will become the predominant variant of Covid-19. “By mid-March,” Valenski said during a briefing on Friday.
Maggie Fox, Jacqueline Howard, Nicholas Neville, Jen Christensen and Christopher Rios contributed to this report.