WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson mentioned Thursday that U.S. regulators prolonged the expiration date on tens of millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by an additional six weeks.
The firm mentioned a Food and Drug Administration assessment concluded the photographs stay secure and efficient as much as Four and a half months. The photographs had been initially accepted for simply three months.
The announcement comes after state officers warned that many unused doses in storage would expire earlier than the tip of the month.
Expiration dates for vaccines are decided primarily based on knowledge the producer submits to regulators proving how lengthy the photographs keep on the proper energy. The vaccine had been accepted to be used inside about six months. But the FDA has been reviewing these expiration dates as firms have continued to check samples of batches within the months because the photographs first rolled out.
The extension will assist keep vaccine provides at the same time as the speed of latest injections continues to slide. The nation averaged about 800,000 new injections per day final week. That’s down from a excessive of nearly 2 million per day two months in the past. Government officers have turned to a rising variety of incentives to encourages photographs ― from paid day without work to $1 million lottery prizes.
As vaccinations have slowed it’s grow to be clear the U.S. is unlikely to fulfill President Joe Biden’s aim goal to have 70% of American adults partially vaccinated by July 4. Roughly 64% of Americans older than 18 have had no less than one dose, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
J&J’s vaccine was extremely anticipated due to its one-and-done formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration necessities. The shot was anticipated to play a key function in vaccination campaigns in rural areas and low-income international locations with restricted well being care infrastructure.
But rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have already provided greater than sufficient doses to fulfill U.S. demand, with greater than 129 million Americans totally vaccinated with the businesses’ two-dose photographs. By comparability simply 11 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J shot.
The U.S. is ready to announce plans to donate 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses for international use over the following yr, on high of 80 million doses already pledged by the tip of the month.
Uptake of J&J’s vaccine within the U.S. has additionally been harm by contamination issues at a Baltimore manufacturing facility that helps manufacture the photographs. The facility was shuttered after an FDA inspection uncovered a number of issues in April and not one of the vaccines made there have been distributed.
AP Health Writer Linda A. Johnson contributed to this story
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely accountable for all content material.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to grow to be a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter