Hundreds of millions of new COVID-19 vaccines are set to be distributed across the country as Pfizer prepares to ramp up the production of its doses amid the pause of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot rollout.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced that his company, with headquarters in the New York (in Manhattan and Rockland County), is now on track to deliver 10 percent more vaccine doses to the US (approximately 220 million) while supplying the already agreed upon 300 million doses for the end of July two weeks early.
Both Pfizer and Moderna, two of the three approved vaccines by the FDA, had vowed to ship 300 million doses by the end of July. The 600 million doses would be enough to vaccinate every adult American.
The news from Pfizer comes as the federal government advised health officials and pharmacies to stop administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine after multiple reports of side effects, including blood clots, have been reported from some receiving the shot.
Some states, including New York, said they will use Pfizer’s vaccine in place of the J&J shot for appointments that had already been scheduled
According to the FDA, six women between the ages of 18 and 48 reported “rare and severe” blood clots between six and 13 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot. Nearly seven million Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered.
“CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance," CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat and FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Dr. Peter Marks said.
"FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
"This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot."
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