One day after the US approves Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, the company already warns about possible delays: what it means and how it affects us
That the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a key element for successful vaccination campaigns in Europe and the United States, it’s something we’ve been saying for several weeks. However, one day after Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was approved by the FDA, the country’s authorities already are trying to keep expectations low.
The reason, in addition, is an old acquaintance: no matter how much the characteristics of the injectable make it the perfect element to start mass vaccinations, the truth is that Also in this case the supply will be scarce.
Delays are also “new normal”
A very interesting vaccine. With an overall efficacy of 66% in preventing the various variants of SARS-CoV-2, the clinical trial of the vaccine could look disappointing. Above all, if we compare it with the figures of mRNA vaccines. However, as we have repeated many times, these comparisons provide little information on the efficacy and safety of vaccines. The mere fact that the vaccine is tested in South Africa (when the local variant was already beginning to be the majority) makes the comparison almost impossible.
In this case, the security provided by its technology based on the ‘adenovirus 26’ (Ad26) that has allowed the development of other experimental vaccines against Zika, Ebola and HIV; and efficacy data comparable to the rest of the already approved vaccines in severe disease and mortality make it a perfect vaccine to immunize large sections of the population. And do it quickly, too. After all, it only takes one dose.
The difficulty of making vaccines. AstraZeneca problems, have put more and more pressure on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Something that has added to the same problems as other pharmaceutical companies: it is not easy to produce such a large number of vaccines in a context like the current one. So far, all vaccines have suffered considerable delays. Something that will also affect J&J.
The example of the USA. U.S has purchased 100 million vaccines from J&J, of which 3.9 will be delivered in these days and 16 million more before the end of March. Quantities that are a far cry from the 37 million they promised to deliver and which could actually be worse because the initial nearly four million come directly from the company’s production plants in the Netherlands (and not, as planned , from Baltimore).
How does it affect us? It is largely a mystery. By contract, Spain will have 20 million vaccines of the 200 that Europe bought in October and possibly 10% of the rest of the contracts that are signed. In other words, it is assured enough doses to vaccinate almost half of the population. However, the secrecy surrounding contracts with pharmaceutical companies, delivery schedules and vaccination plans make it difficult to know the real impact of this problem.
What is clear is that Johnson and Johnson has a month to finish outlining its European strategy and resolve potential problems or the 70% target is moving away on the horizon.
Image | Hospital Clinic