Fauci Expects Decision on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine on Friday

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, CNN

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he expects US regulators to make a decision on lifting the pause on Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine this coming Friday when an expert advisory panel of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meets.

Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union" program on Sunday that he expects the experts to recommend “some sort of either warning or restriction” on the use of J&J's vaccine after their analysis of the data is completed.

Fauci’s remarks came after the CDC and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to pause distribution of the J&J vaccine last week to investigate six cases of a rare brain blood clot linked with low platelet counts.

During an interview Thursday with Reuters, Fauci said the pause was “an indication that the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration take safety very seriously.”

“I hope they make the conclusion of this quickly and get back on track,” he said. “And I believe they will.”

Fauci also expressed concern that prolonged delay in resuming use of the J&J shot will have a negative impact on public confidence in the nation’s massive vaccination effort.

As of Monday, more than 264 million vaccines have been delivered across the country and nearly 212 million doses have been administered, CDC data shows. Over 85 million people, 24.7% of the total population, have been fully vaccinated, while over 132 million have received at least one dose of a vaccine. 

Of the 212 million vaccines given so far, 110 million were the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 93 million were the Moderna vaccine, also a double-dose shot. Nearly 8 million people received J&J’s one-shot vaccine, according to the CDC.

During a briefing last week, Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said the pause would have little impact on the availability of vaccines. 

According to Zients, the US will have enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to continue the current pace of 3 million shots per day and ultimately vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of July.

"We're prepared for a wide range of scenarios," Zients said at a White House briefing. "We have plenty of supply to continue our vaccination program and hit our goals." 

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Source: Equities News

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