Infectious Disease

The rollout for the newly accredited Johnson & Johnson vaccine begins

March 01, 2021

2 min read

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Source:

Press conference.

Disclosure:
Fauci, Walensky and Zients do not report any relevant financial information.

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The White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator announced Monday that Johnson & Johnson’s one-time vaccine doses will be dispensed as early as Tuesday.

“As of yesterday, we started implementing our plans by distributing 3.9 million cans [the vaccine] to states, tribes and territories as well as to pharmacies and community health centers. ” Jeff Zients said during a briefing at the White House.

Jeff Zients, center, coordinates a meeting with the White House COVID-19 Response Team. From the left take Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith attended.

The FDA granted provisional approval for the vaccine Saturday after an FDA advisory panel unanimously decided to recommend the shot.

Rochelle P. Walensky

In addition, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended its use in a 12-0 vote on Sunday with a rejection. CDC director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, signed the recommendation, saying it was “another milestone towards an end to the pandemic”.

Zients said that “all current Johnson & Johnson inventory” will be distributed.

“We’re getting these cans out the door right now to make sure vaccines get in the arms as soon as possible,” he said.

According to Zients, Johnson & Johnson has announced that after the initial distribution of available doses, supply will be limited for the next several weeks. Johnson & Johnson expects to drop an additional 16 million doses by the end of March, he said.

Zients said distribution and delivery will be uneven at the beginning of the month and that the company expects most of the cans to be delivered in the second half of March.

“Our focus on execution, and that includes doing the vital work to make sure we can keep increasing the overall vaccine supply, increasing the number of vaccines and increasing the number of places Americans can get vaccinated,” Zients said

A Johnson & Johnson executive said last week that the company continues to expect to ship 100 million cans by the end of June.

Unlike the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which use messenger RNA technology, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a human adenovirus that has been modified so that it no longer replicates in humans and causes disease.

Anthony S. Fauci

“The ultimate endgame is that both vaccines ultimately result in a spike protein in proper affirmation that allows the body to feel like this is the actual virus it is seeing.” Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said during the briefing.

Currently, the 7-day average for vaccine distribution is 1.7 million doses per day, Zients said. However, the first few days of this 7-day average were affected by winter weather across the country. Therefore, the number is an underestimate, he said.

“We received new vaccination records every day over the weekend,” said Zients. “That means we have a lot more to do on all fronts in our war on this pandemic.”

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