US extends expiration dates for J&J COVID vaccine by 6 weeks

Johnson & Johnson says U.S. well being officers have prolonged the expiration date for its COVID-19 vaccine by six weeks

WASHINGTON — Johnson & Johnson mentioned Thursday that U.S. regulators prolonged the expiration date on tens of millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by six weeks.

The corporate mentioned a Meals and Drug Administration evaluation concluded the photographs stay protected and efficient for a minimum of 4 1/2 months. In February, the FDA initially approved J&J’s vaccine for as much as three months when saved at regular refrigeration ranges.

Thursday’s announcement comes after state officers warned that many doses in storage would expire earlier than the tip of the month.

Vaccine expiration dates are primarily based on data from drugmakers on how lengthy the photographs keep on the proper power. J&J mentioned the FDA added six weeks primarily based on knowledge from ongoing research assessing the vaccine’s stability.

The FDA has been reviewing expiration dates on all three U.S. approved vaccines as firms have continued to check batches within the months for the reason that photographs first rolled out. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, approved in December, have a six-month shelf life.

The J&J extension will assist keep vaccine provides even because the variety of People getting photographs has slipped. The nation averaged about 800,000 new injections per day final week. That is down from a excessive of almost 2 million each day photographs two months in the past. Authorities officers and firms have turned to incentives to encourages photographs, together with paid break day to $1 million lottery prizes.

As vaccinations have slowed it is turn out to be clear the U.S. is unlikely to satisfy President Joe Biden’s purpose to have 70% of adults partially vaccinated by July 4. Roughly 64% of People older than 18 have had a minimum of one dose, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

J&J’s vaccine was extremely anticipated due to its one-and-done formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration. The shot was anticipated to play a key position in vaccination campaigns in rural areas and low-income nations with restricted well being care infrastructure.

However rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, which began delivery photographs months earlier, have already equipped greater than sufficient doses to satisfy U.S. demand. Greater than 129 million People have been totally vaccinated with the businesses’ two-dose photographs. By comparability, simply 11 million People have been vaccinated with the J&J shot. About 10 million extra J&J doses have been despatched to states, in line with the CDC.

Use of J&J’s vaccine has been harm by hyperlinks to a uncommon blood clot dysfunction. That challenge led U.S. well being officers to “pause” use of the shot for an 11-day evaluation. Officers lifted the maintain in late April after concluding that the vaccine’s advantages outweighed its dangers

J&J’s rollout has additionally been slowed by contamination issues at a Baltimore manufacturing facility that helps make the photographs. The ability was shuttered after an FDA inspection uncovered unsanitary situations and different issues in April. Not one of the vaccines made there have been distributed.

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AP Well being Author Linda A. Johnson contributed to this report.

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The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Training. The AP is solely liable for all content material.

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