MIT Technology Review
This is because children under the age of 18 make up about a quarter of the population in the United States but are not yet allowed to be admitted. Also, about 30% of American adults say they won’t get any Covid-19 vaccine at all. Children and vaccine doubts together make up half of the population.
By August, the three companies will provide the United States with enough vaccines for 400 million people or more than the country’s population. This is not a reason for a fourth vaccine manufactured by Novavax, which may also get US approval.
“We’ll be in good shape by summer. The question is, how do we navigate this space between now and June, ”says Hotez.
The Johnson & Johnson shot complements a growing list of approved vaccines worldwide, including the two messenger RNA vaccines, injections from AstraZeneca and Chinese manufacturers, and the Russian vaccine “Sputnik”, all of which are used outside the US.
People who receive one of the vaccines will, on average, see their chance of dying from a drop in Covid-19 to near zero. That’s less than an overall mortality rate of around 1.7% of diagnosed cases in the US – and a multiple higher risk in the elderly.
The J&J shot has fewer side effects than the mRNA vaccines and has also proven itself against a highly transmissible South African variant of the virus that has accumulated numerous mutations.
The South African variant has alarmed researchers because it significantly reduces the effectiveness of some vaccines. A study by AstraZeneca in South Africa found that the vaccine offered no protection at all against the variant, leading officials there to reject a plan to distribute the shot.
According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, South Africa is switching to the J&J vaccine instead and plans to vaccinate 80,000 healthcare workers over the next two weeks.
This week, Moderna also said it would develop a shot tailored for the South African variant, and Pfizer said it is also preparing to counter new strains as they arise. Another strategy that is being considered to ward off variants is to give people additional booster doses of the current vaccines.
Some experts in the US continue to urge the government to introduce faster vaccination schedules, such as: B. delaying the second dose of messenger RNA recordings or using half doses, arguing that the more people are “well enough” protected, the sooner the pandemic will end.
So far, however, it is not clear which agency or which official would be willing or even legally authorized to make this call.
“We’re all scratching our heads as to who might make this decision,” says Hotez. “And it all depends on how urgent you are feeling. The big picture is, if you know the numbers are going down and you feel like they’re going to go down due to the seasonality, then you have some breathing space. However, if you are concerned about variants, then you have a problem and want to vaccinate early. “
On NBC, Fauci said people shouldn’t wait for the best vaccine, just take what’s on offer. “Even one that may be a little less effective is still effective against serious diseases, as we saw with the J&J vaccine,” he said. “Get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you.”