For the United States, there is to be another important milestone relative to COVID-19 vaccine availability.
A medical advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted yesterday to recommend the efficacy of the Johnson and Johnson Janssen Pharmaceutical COVID-19 vaccine. Formal emergency use approval for distribution is expected to be voted on by the FDA sometime today.
According to published studies the Janssen vaccine has been 66 percent effective in protecting people from moderate to severe disease.
From a supply chain perspective, this development brings welcomed news from two perspectives.
The first is obviously added availability of vaccine supply. With emergency use approval, this will be the third vaccine available, in addition to the previously approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Johnson and Johnson expect to deliver 3 million doses immediately upon FDA emergency use approval, with 20 million doses committed to U.S. vaccination needs by the end of March. According to various reports, the added supply could boost the total number of U.S. patients vaccinated by 20 percent. A further important consideration from a supply perspective is that J&J vaccine calls for a one dose regimen for emergency use. That can obviously accelerate the rate of jabs.
The second supply aspect is that of logistics. The J&J vaccine prescribes normal cold chain refrigeration for storage and transportation, thus avoiding the need for ultra-cold or other freezer condition. That should immensely help in the distribution and availability of this vaccine in rural areas or in expanding local vaccination sites such as physician offices or pharmacies. This should allow vehicles or containers that support transport cold food or pharmaceutical products to be able to augment in vaccine distribution. Trucks are expected to be rolling this coming week.
The FDA medical advisory board as much as noted that the benefit of this third vaccine is in the potential accelerated numbers of people that can be vaccinated in a shorter period of time.
Overall, some good news in efforts to stem infections of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
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