INDIANAPOLIS — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this afternoon that Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine meets the requirements for emergency use authorization. Friday a panel will meet to make the recommendation.
“I think with this approval or the authorization of Johnson and Johnson we will have a much bigger supply of vaccines,” said IU Health’s Methodist Hospital, Medical Director for Infection Prevention, Dr. Lana Dbeibo.
Johnson and Johnson has committed to providing 20 million shots upon the initial rollout and 100 million by summer. Each dose counts for one person.
“This is a big number of vaccines for a third of the U.S. population which is great news,” said Dr. Dbeibo.
It’s what we need to hear while working to achieve herd immunity which could come faster than expected.
“So really looking at summertime now with the one dose vaccines to achieve at least some level of herd immunity that we can be confident in that will allow us to begin to transition into some normalcy,” said Regenstrief Institute, Director of Public Health informatics, Dr. Brian Dixon.
There are a lot of factors that will play into how fast we can reach herd immunity if Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is approved. It comes down to supply, demand, and if we have enough people to continue putting shots into arms.
“We still have some people in line so to speak, to come back for the second dose who are signed up to get the two-dose vaccine,” said Dr. Dixon.
Another challenge is the demand. On Tuesday nearly 90,000 Hoosiers that became eligible registered within hours.
“We’re going to be limited by the number of humans that we have in the state available to give shots,” said Dr. Dixon.
And the final question that remains is will there be enough vaccine supply?
“Vaccine supply is definitely something we are going to continue to watch because we are going to be limited by how much vaccine the federal government allots to the state,” said Dr. Dixon.
Experts recommend people get whatever vaccine they can get first regardless of the number of doses. Those with allergies may want to look at Johnson and Johnson.
Hospitals and clinics are now working to create a game plan for a potential roll out.
“All vaccine sites are working with the state health department very closely following their lead on how we are going to be scheduling people for a new vaccine,” said Dr. Dbeibo.
Another positive, experts say is the fact the Johnson and Johnson can be stored in a refrigerator allowing more pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals to administer vaccines to a larger amount of people. Which could help the Hoosier state reach herd immunity possibly by the end of summer.