Family Healthcast: Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — Now that more Americans are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, those over 65 and adults with pre-existing conditions are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But, they are also seeing just how complicated this vaccine process is.

Vaccine hotlines are crashing and appointments are completely booked. Now, we have a question about a simpler way to vaccinate people against COVID-19.

“After spending hours yesterday trying to book an appointment, I’m wondering if there will be a vaccine that requires just one dose?”

There should be. Johnson & Johnson expects to release critical results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial in the next two weeks.

If the vaccine can strongly protect people against COVID-19, as some outside scientists expect, it would offer big advantages over the two vaccines that are already approved.

Unlike the two current vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s could need just one dose, greatly simplifying logistics for local health departments and clinics struggling to distribute doses.

Also, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can stay stable in a refrigerator for months, whereas the others have to be frozen.

The problem right now is with production. The company signed a $1 billion contract with the government as part of Operation Warp Speed.

It was supposed to have 12 million doses by the end of February. It is at least two months behind schedule.

If this new vaccine gets FDA approval, the company is hoping to catch up and possibly contribute to the nation’s vaccine drive by the end of March.

A third, effective vaccine would be a game changer, particularly if it requires just one dose.

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