FRIDAY, June 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) – U.S. regulators have extended the expiration date of millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine by six weeks, the company said Thursday.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration review concluded that the injections remained safe and effective for at least 4.5 months, J&J said in a statement. In February, the FDA first cleared the vaccine for up to three months when stored at normal refrigeration temperatures.
State officials warned earlier this week that many doses of J&J in storage would expire before the end of the month. The FDA change gives healthcare providers more time to use injections in pharmacies, hospitals and clinics, Associated press reported. Many states have taken a “first in, first out” approach to trying to use their older vaccines first.
Vaccine expiration dates are based on information provided by drug manufacturers on how long injections remain viable. J&J said the FDA added six weeks based on data from the company’s ongoing vaccine stability studies.
The FDA has looked at the expiration dates of the three vaccines authorized in that country, as companies have continued to test batches in the months since the injections first launched. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, approved in December, have a shelf life of six months, the PA reported.
Unfortunately, immunization rates have fallen in recent weeks: the country gave an average of about 800,000 new injections per day last week. That’s down from a high of nearly 2 million daily shots two months ago, the PA reported. Government officials and businesses have turned to incentives to encourage the shootings, including paid vacations and million dollar lottery prizes.
As vaccinations have slowed, Biden’s goal of having 70% of adults partially vaccinated by July 4 is in jeopardy. About 64% of Americans over 18 had had at least one injection as of Friday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
J & J’s vaccine was eagerly awaited due to its unique formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration. The coup was to play a key role in vaccination campaigns in rural areas and low-income countries with limited health care, the PA reported.
But rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have already supplied more than enough doses to meet U.S. demand. More than 129 million Americans have been fully immunized with the companies’ two-dose injections, the PA reported. During that time, only 11 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. About 10 million additional doses of J&J have been sent to states, according to the CDC.
Use of J & J’s vaccine also appears to have been affected by links to a rare blood clot disorder. This problem prompted US health authorities to “suspend” the use of the vaccine for 11 days. That wait was lifted in late April after authorities concluded that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks.
G-7 joins US in pledge to send vaccine doses to countries in need
Leaders of the G-7, the world’s richest democracies, are expected to pledge on Friday that they will send 1 billion doses of COVID vaccines to poor and middle-income countries as part of a campaign to “immunize the world” d ‘by the end of 2022.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States plans to purchase 500 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine which it will then donate to countries in need around the world. As for the rest of the G-7, the UK will donate 100 million doses, while other members of the G-7 will contribute the rest, the PA reported.
“This is our responsibility, our humanitarian obligation, to save as many lives as possible,” Biden said in a speech in England on Thursday evening, before the start of the G-7 meeting. “When we see people suffering and suffering all over the world, we seek to help in any way we can.”
The United States will send the first of its 200 million donated doses this year, and another 300 million will be shared in the first half of next year, said three people familiar with the plan. Washington post Wednesday. COVAX, the initiative supported by the World Health Organization to share doses of COVID-19 around the world, will distribute the doses to low- and middle-income countries.
Many public health experts and advocacy groups have applauded the news, saying US leadership on the issue will be essential to vaccinating the world.
“It’s an extraordinary development,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiologist and senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. To post. The plan “sends a profound signal in terms of the United States’ commitment to global health security and its willingness to help end this pandemic for the world and the United States,” he said. she adds.
“It’s significant, but not sufficient on its own,” said Thomas Bollyky, senior researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of its global health program.
On the one hand, 500 million doses is roughly six times the number of doses COVAX has dispensed so far, he told the To post. On the other hand, it is only a quarter of the 2 billion doses that COVAX aims to distribute this year. So far, COVAX has delivered just under 82 million doses to 129 countries, according to the newspaper.
“These doses of Pfizer will go to many countries,” Bollyky said. “The big question is in what order and in what amount? This will have a significant bearing on the impact of the engagement on public health.”
The gap between have and have not vaccines is wide: more than half of populations in the United States and Britain have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while less than 2% of people in Africa have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. been vaccinated.
“We will not end this global pandemic anywhere unless we defeat it everywhere,” said Tom Hart, interim CEO of One Campaign, an organization focused on fighting global poverty and preventable disease, in a statement. “Dosing COVAX will save lives, reduce the spread of variants, and help reopen the global economy. We urge other G-7 countries to follow the lead of the United States and give more doses to COVAX. ambition and action to end the pandemic is now. “
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