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Since the Biden administration has been in charge, we’ve seen a steady downturn in the number of new covid cases. Those trends have been due to increased restrictions, masking and of course vaccinations. However the CDC has recently noted that the case decreases have been stalling, and have warned that now is not the time to decrease restrictions. Many of us who are conscientious and trying to follow guides are so frustrated and ready for lockdown to be over. The good news is that vaccinations are coming for more of us. The Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine was been approved by the FDA over the weekend for emergency use in the US! It requires only refrigeration and can more easily be shipped, stored and distributed. Here’s more on that from Reuters:
The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday authorized Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, beginning the rollout of millions of doses of a third effective vaccine that could reach Americans by early next week.
The announcement arrived at a critical moment, as the steep decline in coronavirus cases seems to have plateaued and millions of Americans are on waiting lists for shots.
Johnson & Johnson has pledged to provide the United States with 100 million doses by the end of June. When combined with the 600 million doses from the two-shot vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna slated to arrive by the end of July, there will be more than enough shots to cover any American adult who wants one.
But federal and state health officials are concerned that even with strong data to support it, some people may perceive Johnson & Johnson’s shot as an inferior option.
The new vaccine’s 72 percent efficacy rate in the U.S. clinical trial site — a number scientists have celebrated — falls short of the roughly 95 percent rate found in studies testing the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Across all trial sites, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine also showed 85 percent efficacy against severe forms of Covid-19 and 100 percent efficacy against hospitalization and death.
The article goes on to quote Dr. Fauci, who said that we shouldn’t “get caught upon the number game, because it’s a really good vaccine, and what we need is as many good vaccines as possible.” Exactly. Also, it’s only one vaccination and it’s 100% effective against hospitalization and death. That’s amazing.
Kaiser sent me this tweet below by Nate Silver about the number of vaccines expected to be available soon. The numbers are looking good for vaccine availability and Biden will likely meet or exceed his promised goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. So far 14.6% of the population has received at least one dose. We need to reach 70 to 90 percent of the population to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. It’s very hard to determine when that will happen given all the variables including restrictions lifting and the new variants. Experts also differ as to whether people who have been previously infected should count as immune.
Pfizer increasing deliveries to 14m/week by mid-March.
Moderna aiming to ramp up to 40m/month by April.
J&J (one dose) delivering 20m doses in March. https://t.co/RlOkFLsZVP
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 28, 2021
There is news that vaccines by AstraZeneca and Novavax will be coming up for approval in the US as well. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is currently available in Europe and was just approved for use in Canada. Novavax is expected to come up for approval as early as May. I will take whichever vaccine I can get the soonest, and would be so grateful to get the J&J vaccine. The more people we can get vaccinated and the more careful we take precautions the sooner we can get back to normal. I suspect it will be a different kind of normal, but I’m ok with that. Once I’m vaccinated and my friends are vaccinated I will stop wearing a mask one on one with people who are vaccinated whom I trust and with my family members. (Dr. Fauci says this is ok.) However I will still wear a mask to the store and to parties. I might not double mask and I won’t wear a visor too. Being vaccinated will afford me a level of protection that will allow me to relax in a way I haven’t in a while. I’m looking forward to so many things this year!
You can sign up to be notified when you’re eligible for a vaccine in your state through the tool on this page. You can find vaccines near you, depending on your eligibility, at vaccinefinder.org.
Photos credit: Avalon.red and Getty
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