Dr. Johnson & Johnson board member Mark McClellan told CNBC Friday that there could be enough vaccinations for the entire US adult population by the summer.
“Assuming that accurate verification of the J&J data is no longer possible, we will have the capacity between Moderna, Pfizer and J&J to have enough vaccines available for the entire US adult population by June “said McClellan, a former FDA commissioner, said on” The News with Shepard Smith. ”
The US plans to buy 200 million doses of Covid vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer. The Department of Health and Human Services will increase its vaccine supply to states from 8.6 million to at least 10 million doses per week. To date, states have received more than 49 million doses, but only about half of those actually landed in people’s arms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency reports that the US fires just over a million shots every day.
McClellan that the US should significantly increase the number of shots given per day and “should bring our ability to vaccinate closer to 3 million doses per day.”
The US has ordered 100 million doses of the J&J vaccine, which the company plans to deliver by June. J&J plans to apply for an emergency permit next week. If J & J’s vaccine is FDA approved, it will be the third emergency approved vaccine in the U.S. Pfizer’s vaccine was approved by the FDA on December 11th, and Moderna’s was approved a week later.
The efficacy numbers for J&J vaccines were lower than for Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer’s vaccine was found to be 95% effective against Covid-19, while Moderna’s vaccine was about 94% effective. J & J’s vaccine was found to be 66% overall effective in preventing moderate to severe Covid.
Host Shepard Smith asked McClellan about the lower efficacy numbers compared to Pfizer and Moderna, explaining to Smith, “We are fighting a different virus today than three months ago when previous studies were done.”
In addition, J&J conducted its test on three continents, and the level of protection varied depending on the region. The vaccine showed an overall effectiveness of 72% in the US and 66% in Latin America. In South Africa, where the dangerous B.1.351 strain of Covid caused spikes in some cases, the J&J vaccine showed 57% effectiveness.
“Unfortunately, in three months’ time, we’ll likely be fighting another virus. The most important thing to winning this fight is getting as many people as possible vaccinated,” said McClellan. “The faster we shoot in the arms, the more people will be vaccinated here in this country and around the world, the better we can contain this further spread and further damage from Covid.”