A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will hold a full-day meeting Friday to review the data on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidates. The vaccine will likely give a thumbs up, leading to expected FDA approval for the adult shot within the vaccine over the next few days. An FDA report was released early Wednesday found it safe and effective.
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to provide 100 million doses of its vaccine in the US by June, including 20 million by the end of March. These doses will be added to the 300 million doses Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna each promised to deliver by the end of July.
In a U.S. study that benefited all ethnic, racial, and age groups roughly equally, the vaccine was shown to be 72% effective and was shown to be 85% effective at preventing the most serious disease .
In the meantime, Pfizer-BioNTech will begin testing a booster shot to combat COVID-19 variants, the companies said Thursday. The announcement came one day after the publication of new research results in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine reduced symptomatic COVID-19 cases in all age groups by 94%.
And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, warned people not to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if it should be available soon while waiting for the slightly more effective Pfizer or Moderna shots. Fauci also told NBC News that a third vaccine was “nothing but good news”.
Also in the news:
►The Food and Drug Administration allows Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to be shipped and stored in freezers commonly found in pharmacies, rather than in freezers originally required after data from the company showed that the Vaccine in the standard remains stable freezing temperatures for up to two weeks. Thursday’s decision will make it easier to distribute and administer the vaccine.
►Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s declaration of emergency until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to occur across the state, but still hundreds a day.
►After six straight weeks of declining new COVID-19 infections in the US, daily cases have plateaued in many states, but hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline. according to the Johns Hopkins University.
►The World Health Organization reported Thursday that case rates across Europe have halved from their winter peak.
📈 Today’s numbers: The US has more than 28.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 508,100 deaths. according to the Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 112.9 million cases and 2.5 million deaths. In the United States, more than 91.6 million vaccine doses have been distributed and about 68.2 million administered. according to CDC.
📘 What we read: Surgery for a child, payment of a loan, utility bills: we asked Americans how they would spend $ 1,400 on stimulus checks. That’s what they said.
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When Washington State Governor Jay Inslee spoke to Donald Trump last year about the previous administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, then-President Inslee called a snake.
“I can still be one,” said the governor with a chuckle on Thursday when asked how things have changed under President Joe Biden. “But I’m a well-groomed snake.”
During the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, practically held on Thursday, Biden called states the “laboratories of democracy” to indicate their independence. But he emphasized that A national approach is needed to the pandemic and other problems because “so many of our challenges do not stop at our border with our states”.
“We have to fight this together,” Biden told the governors.
– Maureen Groppe and Courtney Subramanian
Dr. Brian Alverson, director of the Department of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island, said he saw what the Providence Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, called “a massive pandemic of mentally ill young people,Many of them admitted at Hasbro Children’s.
The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has published articles on the nationwide phenomenon, partly due to social isolation and loneliness.
“And when I say massive, I don’t mean to underestimate that,” said Alverson. One Friday, “when I was looking at the hospital census, three-quarters of the hospital were teenagers trying to injure themselves with a mental illness.”
– G. Wayne Miller, the Providence Journal
The US government is launching a nationwide initiative to screen COVID-19 patients who have residual symptoms commonly known as “long-distance COVID drivers” months after recovery, said Dr. Anthony Fauci in a White House briefing on Wednesday.
The nation’s leading infectious disease expert also unveiled a scientific name for the new syndrome – Post Acute Sequelae from SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) – that further legitimizes the suffering population.
“(There are) many important questions that now remain unanswered that we hope we can ultimately answer through this series of initiatives,” said Fauci.
The announcement comes after a study published on JAMA Network Open last week that found around 30% of COVID-19 patients reported persistent symptoms as long as 9 months after the illness.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Featuring: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY; The Associated Press