Johnson & Johnson’s board member Dr. Mark McClellan says the company expects 20 million doses to be delivered by the end of March as the United States is one step away from adding a third safe and effective vaccine to its arsenal.
“There will be an acceleration period, so 4 million doses are expected next week, increasing during the month of March with 20 million doses delivered at the end of March,” the former FDA commissioner said in an interview Friday. in the evening on “The News with Shepard Smith.” “So that’s 20 million people fully vaccinated, since it’s just one dose of the vaccine.”
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday night voted unanimously to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose injection for emergency use authorization. The FDA will decide on Saturday whether to approve the vaccine. A recommendation from advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would trigger three to four million doses that would ship next week.
McClellan told “The News with Shepard Smith” that the addition of the J&J vaccine will take a huge step forward in the United States when it comes to addressing the coronavirus pandemic and protecting millions of people from the virus.
“That is in addition to some expansions in the supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, they expect about 90 million, 100 million doses … it is a two dose vaccine, but all that means we could reach up to 100 million people. or more were vaccinated in late March here in the United States, “said McClellan, a health policy expert at Duke University.
Nationally, average daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been declining for weeks, but the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, said recent drops may be leveling off.
“We may be done with the virus, but clearly the virus is not done with us,” Walensky said. “We cannot get comfortable or give in to a false sense of security that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Not now, not when mass vaccination is so close.”
The CDC director added that we could be starting to see the effects of the new, more contagious Covid variants spreading across the country. McClellan agreed with Walensky, warning that “we should be concerned” when it comes to new variants, but he redoubled the importance of vaccines.
“The good news is that vaccines seem to provide really strong protection against variants, the best way to contain variants is for as many people to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” McClellan said.