The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally gave authorization this Saturday for the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine against covid-19, the third to get the green light in the country. This is fascinating news for all Americans and an encouraging step forward in our efforts to end this crisis US President Joe Biden said in a statement released by the White House. Biden, however, warned that this fight is not over yet. Although we celebrate today’s news, I ask all Americans: continue to wash your hands, continue to maintain social distance, and continue to wear masks Count on maintaining this battle in the coming months said the president.
Approval was imminent after an FDA vaccine advisory committee endorsed the emergency authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to be approved this weekend for distribution. The United States, the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the world, already has more than 28.5 million cases and more than 510,000 deaths, according to the latest independent count from Johns Hopkins University. Although in recent days the daily average of new cases has dropped notably, to below 70,000 a day, compared to nearly 300,000 at the beginning of the year, the authorities continue to warn of the existing danger, especially due to the appearance of new strains.
“Now is not the time to loosen restrictions. While we have seen large declines in cases and hospital admissions in the past six weeks, these declines come after the largest spike we have ever recorded in the pandemic, said Rochelle Walensky, director. from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at a press conference on Friday.
THIRD EFFECTIVE VACCINE
According to the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, the Johnson & Johnson candidate is safe and effective enough against the SARS-CoV-2 virus among those over 18 years of age, leaving only her emergency authorization to be formally confirmed. , something that could be closed this Saturday. Trials with the J&J vaccine have shown effectiveness against the coronavirus of 66%, down from 94-95% of existing vaccines, but with an ability to 86% to avoid severe cases of the disease, hospitalizations, and deaths, which could be enough to protect the population.
The J&J vaccine will thus join those of Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna, which have been administered since the end of December in the United States and which have served to immunize health care personnel, emergency personnel, and the elderly and is now slowly beginning to be available to the rest of the population
FIRST OF A SINGLE DOSE
The inclusion of the first single-dose vaccine should help speed up the vaccination campaign by not requiring a second dose at three weeks, as occurs with the Pfizer and Moderna injections, although Johnson & Johnson has pointed out that it is considering possible annual reminders. The J&J vaccine does not require the extremely low temperatures in storage as in the case of Pfizer and Moderna, since it is not based on messenger RNA, like its predecessors, but on instructions encoded in a DNA chain transmitted to the cell in an adenovirus, a technique less prone to deterioration.
For this reason, it can be kept for up to three months between temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, something that would reduce the complexity of the supply chain and scenes such as those experienced in some parts of the country, where emergency vaccines were distributed among the population after problems arise with the freezers. The United States has administered more than 68 million doses since the end of December, when the first of the vaccines was authorized, with which just over one in five Americans have already been immunized with the first at the two required doses.