The United States will likely move to resume Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, possibly with restrictions or broader warnings after reports of some very rare blood clot cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.
The new effort, which relies on money approved by Congress as part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package, aims to break what experts say is a feast-or-famine cycle in U.S. preparedness for biological threats, of which the coronavirus is only one example.
The FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations for a number of monoclonal antibodies, an IV administered treatment that could help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. Coleman Cutchins, Clinical Pharmacist with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services discussed antibody treatments, and the Covid-19 variants that create concern for their continued efficacy.
As many as 60 countries might be stalled at the first shots of their coronavirus vaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program intended to help some of the world's poorest nations are blocked until as late as June.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that on average, one in four people in rich countries has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to only one in 500 people in low-income countries.
A patchwork of advice was emerging from governments across Europe and farther afield, a day after the European Union’s drug regulator said there was a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare clotting disorder while reiterating the vaccine is safe and effective.
Any further doubts about the AstraZeneca vaccine would be a setback for the shot, which is critical to Europe’s immunization campaign and a linchpin in the global strategy to get vaccines to poorer countries.