The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized the extension of the expiration date of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, the company said in a statement, extending the shelf life to six weeks before millions of doses were determined to possibly go waste .
“The decision is based on data from ongoing stability assessment studies showing that the vaccine is stable at 4.5 months when refrigerated at temperatures of 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.
The move gives states additional time to figure out how to use a supply of the single-dose vaccine, even as local officials struggle to access stockpiles of the shot, which have recently been released. Recently there has been a decrease in demand. Since it was authorized by the FDA in late February, it has been a valuable resource in reaching more isolated communities and people who just like to get a shot.
But the vaccine took a big hit in April, when the FDA and CDC recommended a pause in its use after a rare blood clotting disorder occurred in recipients of the vaccine. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state officials have said the decision has significantly dampened interest in the vaccine, and that about ten million doses given to states remain unused. Vaccination momentum has fallen in recent weeks for all three federally authorized shots, and the Biden administration has shifted its strategy from relying largely on vaccination sites to highlighting more targeted approaches, with some encouragement. with.
Dr. Marcus Plesia, who represents state health agencies as chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said last week that he believes every state will end up on a vaccine. dates, prompting local authorities to search for ways to it. Even exhaust its limited supply.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Monday urged health providers in his state to use about 200,000 doses of the vaccine, which he said was set to expire on June 23. The state health department instructed providers to adopt a “first-in, first-“. Dosages with earlier expiration dates were used for the shot to ensure the “out” process.
Officials across the South, where vaccination rates have lagged, are also exploring ways to use up the thousands of doses they have in their possession. In Arkansas, officials are hoping to see more use at the weekend’s pop-up clinics, including Juneteenth, said Dr. Jose R. Romero, Arkansas Health Secretary.
West Virginia’s Coronavirus Caesar Dr. Clay Marsh said Thursday that the state had a sufficient supply of the three vaccines, giving residents a lot of choice between shots from Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. But he said the extension could breathe some life into his state’s efforts to reach vulnerable people: people with disabilities, those who are at home or homeless and those with some sort of social instability.
He said the shot still appeals to people to be wary of two doses of a vaccine, and West Virginia wanted to offer Johnson & Johnson vaccines at summer fairs and festivals and parks. He said around 25,000 doses were due to expire this month.
“The J&J vaccine is, I think, vastly superior in those settings,” he said.
Dr. Marsh said he was still wary of taking additional supplements with an extended shelf life, and that the state was talking to the federal government about how to give them on time.
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