Johnson & Johnson announced on Wednesday that they have successfully delivered 20 million vaccine doses within the Unites States in March. They are expected to produce billions of doses by the end of 2021. There is some bad news along with this good news. Millions of vaccine doses had to be destroyed and new shipments of the vaccine have been currently halted.
Emergent BioSolutions is one of the sites where Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines get diluted with the right combination of salts and preservatives. They are then packaged and delivered. Emergent also handles the delivery of AstraZeneca and they mistakenly crossed up these two vaccines. Hence one entire batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines was prepared wrong and cannot be used.
Emergent has made mistakes before. The FDA has cited this firm for many quality control issues as reported by the Associated Press. They have had safety issues as well as “continued low level mold and yeast” have been found in their facilities.
The size of the batch that was destroyed has not been disclosed by Johnson & Johnson. The New York Times has reported that according to them the destroyed vaccines were up to 15 million doses. Until Emergent works on its quality control issues, the upcoming shipments might get suffered. The United States progress towards achieving 200 million vaccinations in the first 100 days of Biden’s administration will not be affected by this problem as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine is produced at a plant in the Netherlands and has not been affected.
We have more to report on vaccines which is good news.
PFIZER HAS ANNOUNCED THAT ITS VACCINE IS ATLEAST GOOD FOR SIX MONTHS
Everyone who got vaccinated after waiting for three weeks and receiving two shots does not like the idea of a do-over for the vaccine after a few months. Currently, companies are looking at data for people who had received the vaccine during the trial but the data is still fairly new.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced on Thursday that their vaccine has a 91.3% effective rate at preventing COVID-19 from a period of seven days to six months after the participant has received the second dose. The period saw the vaccine being successful with a 100% rate in preventing severe disease for over 44000 patients that were in the trial.
It does not look like the efficacy will decrease over a period of time. The vaccine still appeared to be effective even in areas that had the more recent and highly contagious variants. All current data indicates that the vaccine may be effective over a long period of time, maybe even a year or more. But it cannot yet be confirmed without proper data. Maybe we shall know more in six months.
Also On Wednesday, the week-long rolling average for new cases in the United States was above 65,000 cases for the first time in a month. Such a high level of case number shows how there is still a major threat that a new surge of more cases may happen.