Heads of COVID vaccine firms promise dose ramp-up

Today throughout a House Committee on Energy & Commerce listening to, chief executives from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novovax addressed US lawmakers for the primary time since July 2020 on the manufacturing of vaccines and when Americans might anticipate extra doses.

According to Richard Nettles, MD, vp of US medical affairs for Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division, his firm will be capable of instantly ship vaccine doses upon a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA). An FDA advisory board meets on Feb 26 to think about granting an EUA to Johnson & Johnson.

“This will enable the vaccination of more than 20 million Americans by the end of March,” Nettles stated of an anticipated EUA. “And we are prepared to deliver 100 million doses during the first half of the year.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be the primary adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine accepted to be used within the United States. It would even be the primary single dose vaccine, and require solely conventional refrigeration.

Nettles additionally stated the corporate is ready to supply 1 billion doses of vaccine globally earlier than the 12 months’s finish.

Pfizer to extend weekly doses

John Young, chief enterprise officer of Pfizer, and Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, additionally addressed the committee on how their mRNA vaccines—already in use within the United States —may very well be shortly altered to guard towards new variants if wanted.

“We have no real world evidence [of reduced efficacy] against B117, but we are looking at a booster,” stated Young.

Young additionally stated his firm is rising obtainable provide of his vaccine shortly. At the start of February Pfizer was delivering 4 to five million doses every week. By mid-March, that quantity is predicted to be 13 doses per week, Young stated, and all 300 million contracted doses to the United States must be delivered by the top of July, enabling the complete vaccination of 150 million Americans.

Today the Washington Post reported the Biden administration instructed governors to anticipate allowed doses to the states to develop from 13.5 million to 14.5 million per week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID Data Tracker,  82,114,370 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered within the United States, and 65,032,083 have been administered, with 19,882,544 Americans receiving two doses.

No further trials for variant-based boosters

In associated information, the FDA yesterday stated it could not require additional giant medical trials for vaccine booster pictures designed to focus on variant strains of COVID-19. The FDA up to date steering of COVID-19 vaccines, exams, and therapeutics.

“The FDA is committed to identifying efficient ways to modify medical products that either are in the pipeline or have been authorized for emergency use to address emerging variants,” stated Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD.

“We know the country is eager to return to a new normal and the emergence of the virus variants raises new concerns about the performance of these products.”

According to the latest update from the CDC, there are 1,661 reported instances of B117 in 44 states, 22 instances of B1351 in 10 states, and 5 instances of P1 in 4 states.

The US reported 54,456 new COVID-19 instances yesterday, and 1,347 deaths, in response to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In complete, the US has 28,221,129 instances, together with 501,663 deaths.

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