De Blasio Hopes Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Will “Supercharge” Campaign To Reach More Seniors

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Because the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration gears as much as overview the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Mayor Invoice de Blasio stated Tuesday it may very well be a “distinction maker” for town’s vaccine provides and its rollout to hard-to-reach seniors.

“It’s single dose, simpler refrigeration requirements,” de Blasio advised reporters throughout a press convention. “That is what’s going to supercharge our effort.”

In testimony submitted Tuesday to Congress, Johnson & Johnson’s vp of U.S. medical affairs Dr. Richard Nettles stated the corporate intends to ship 20 million doses of the one-shot drug throughout the nation by the top of March. The corporate plans to ship one other 80 million throughout the first half of 2021.

New York Metropolis well being officers don’t but know what number of of these doses could be directed to the 5 boroughs, in line with Dr. Jay Varma, town’s high public well being official.

“Clearly provide continues to be the only most essential situation,” Varma stated. “That provide is dictated by the federal authorities after which in fact by the producers themselves.”

An FDA advisory committee will talk about the emergency use authorization of the vaccine at a Friday assembly, because it did for greenlighting Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in December. Days after every authorization, these doses have been shipped throughout the nation to kickstart vaccine applications.

The nation’s third potential vaccine candidate differs from Pfizer and Moderna in just a few key methods. To begin with, it requires only one dose, simplifying how the distribution would go for a Johnson & Johnson rollout. It may also be saved not less than three months at common refrigeration temperatures, round 35 to 46 levels Fahrenheit, in line with Nettles.

At the moment, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are harder to retailer and transport because of the instability of mRNA vaccines and require colder temperatures. Metropolis well being officers hope to make use of the Johnson & Johnson candidate to launch a program for homebound seniors.

“We’ve been working with various totally different companies and clinicians who’ve the expertise of already caring for individuals of their properties—for instance, home-based major care clinicians in addition to visiting nurses who already present many healthcare companies in individuals’s properties,” stated NYC Well being Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. He added that town is working with home-based major care clinicians and visiting nurses as a part of the plan.

Chokshi acknowledged there are nonetheless questions concerning the vaccine’s storage and dealing with necessities, however added: “As soon as we deliver these two halves collectively, we might be able to very quickly do the door-to-door or in-home vaccination for homebound seniors.”

That would occur as quickly as March, the commissioner stated. It could be part of different efforts to prioritize doses for residence well being aides doses and arrange vaccine websites the place many seniors reside—like public housing and senior housing often called naturally occurring retirement communities.

Varma stated well being specialists are nonetheless ready to overview the corporate’s full dataset and the FDA evaluation this week.

Final month, the corporate introduced its section 3 trials confirmed the shot was 66% efficient total in stopping moderate-to-severe COVID-19 an infection within the U.S. round 4 weeks after the dose was administered. The effectiveness was 72% within the U.S. and 57% in South Africa, the place an immunity-evading variant originated and has now unfold to New York.

These stats are decrease than the round 95% efficacy charges seen with the Pfizer and Moderna two-dose routine. However the firm says its candidate was nonetheless 85% efficient in stopping extreme illness—a important stat for serving to officers decide if the vaccine might scale back hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus an infection.

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