CDC Recommends Lifting Pause on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine: There is another vaccine back in the rotation in the US after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended to lift the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The recommendation came after the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on Friday to discuss the presenting risks of using the vaccine in light of the reports of blood clots. The group also recommended that that vaccine label be updated to reflect the warning of the blood clots.
Vaccinations by this vendor are expected to resume as soon as possible in most locations. According to President Joe Biden’s coronavirus adviser Jeff Zients, there are more than 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available to use immediately. Unlike the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson version is only one dose, making it easier to bring more Americans to the fully vaccinated stage as quickly as possible.
Latest Vaccination Numbers: Over 200 million doses of the coveted COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since Biden took office on January 20. This breaks down to about 41% of the US population receiving at least one dose of vaccine and 28% fully vaccinated. On Friday, the US recorded over 3.3 million shots, according to the latest data from the CDC. While this number is the biggest single-day boost this week, it is still short of the daily average peak recorded in early April. This dip in numbers is partly attributed to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine not being available this week.
CDC Recommends Pregnant Women Get the Vaccine: The CDC also recommended on Friday that pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine. A new study published on Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine found no safety concerns with women in their third trimester who received the vaccine. In addition, there were no issues presented to the babies.
This research echoes the results of a previous study published last month in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This particular study detailed how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are effective for both pregnant and lactating women. The study also demonstrated that these vaccines can then transfer the protective antibodies to newborns.
Supply to Begin Outpacing Demand in Just Weeks: A new report is hypothesizing that demand for the COVID-19 vaccine will soon begin to outpace demand in as a little as a few weeks. According to Dr. Chris Murray, chair of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, this shift will likely happen in mid-May.
While most of America’s biggest cities are still seeing significant demand for the vaccine, many rural areas already have an oversupply. There are still roughly 10-15% of Americans who are weighing whether or not they should get the vaccine. How this segment of the population breaks will be a determining factor of when the slowdown will begin in earnest.
One way to increase the odds of herd immunity is to increase the pool of potential vaccine recipients. Health officials are hopeful that the FDA will soon authorize the use of the Pfizer vaccine in kids ages 12-15. Currently, the vaccine is only available to ages 16 and up. The school-age group has seen a rapid increase in new confirmed cases over the last month, largely being blamed on most schools being back in person and the resumption of youth athletics.
Free Stuff: In an effort to promote mass vaccinations, some companies are offering up free goodies to customers who flash their vaccine cards. The most publicized freebie is a complimentary donut at Krispy Kreme every day. This offer is valid at all US Krispy Kreme locations.
Other freebies include a free hot dog at Nathan’s in New York City, a free beer courtesy of Budweiser, complimentary vaccine card laminating services at Staples and Office Depot for those coveted vaccine cards, and more. The list of goodies will likely continue to grow as more businesses jump on the bandwagon of rewarding Americans for choosing to do their part to stop the virus by getting vaccinated.