Plagued by concerns about rare blood clots and reports of weaker immune responses, it appeared the fate of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine was sealed when the CDC recommended in December that Americans opt for the vaccine instead. one of the mRNA injections. But new data suggests the stunt could be making a comeback.
The CDC recently reported that unvaccinated people were 3.2 times more likely to be infected with Covid than those who received J&J’s single-dose vaccine, according to a New York Times report. Meanwhile, unvaccinated people were only 2.8 times more likely to contract Covid than those vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna vaccine, and only 2.4 times more likely than those who received two doses of the Pfizer/ BioNTech. And all of the vaccines appeared to perform about the same among those who were boosted, according to the Times.
“This vaccine platform may have some surprising features that we hadn’t anticipated,” Fred Hutchinson professor Larry Corey told The Times, adding that the J&J vaccine appears to have strong durability.
The news comes just months after a unanimous vote by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to recommend against taking J&J’s vaccine, if the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine is available. J&J’s vaccine, however, remained available for those unable or unwilling to be vaccinated with mRNA.
The recommendation came amid renewed concerns about rare but sometimes fatal blood clots. The FDA and CDC paused J&J’s vaccine rollout in April to assess the risk of such blood clots, but ended up lifting the pause less than two weeks later after deciding that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits l always outweighed the risks.
But at the ACIP meeting, it was revealed that there are more cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTTS) in those who have received the J&J vaccine than previously thought.
In January, J&J read the results of a Janssen-sponsored study which suggested that a single injection of the vaccine resulted in “lasting protection for up to six months against infections, hospitalizations and intensive care units (ICUs) of Covid-19 admissions.” According to the study, which compared the protection offered by the three Covid vaccines licensed in the United States, evidence of waning protection against infection began the second month after vaccination with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and the fourth month after the J&J vaccine.
Germany signs deals with vaccine makers for future outbreaks
Days after the White House sounded the alarm over vaccine and treatment supply shortages, Germany earmarked more than $3 billion to ensure vaccine makers can meet demands of future epidemics – with several companies, including BioNTech, on the beneficiary side, according to a Reuters report.
The government has approved contracts with a suite of companies worth up to 2.86 billion euros ($3.14 billion) to boost vaccine production capacity until 2029, reported Reuters. These companies include BioNTech, CureVac and GSK, Wacker and CordenPharma, Celonic and IDT.
The agreements ensure that a sufficient quantity of vaccines can be produced quickly in the event of a new epidemic, in exchange for an annual waiting fee.
The news comes as the White House stresses the need for more pandemic funds, calling on Congress to break a deadlock after lawmakers decided to include about $15 million in pandemic funds in a package. larger annual spending last week.
“First, on vaccines: Without additional funding, we don’t have the adequate resources to purchase enough boosters for all Americans if an additional vaccine is needed,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters.
And without the additional funds, the senior official said the government will have to cancel plans to purchase additional monoclonal antibodies as early as next week.