A tramps person wearing gloves and a protective mask sits with a sign that reads, “Seeking Human Geniality” amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 19, 2020 in New York City, United States.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Fetishes Entertainment | Getty Images
The Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine pause may not significantly slow the overall pace of the U.S. vaccine rollout, but is delivering it tougher for hard-to-reach populations to get a shot.
Following the Food and Drug Administration’s request on Tuesday that states little while halt using the J&J vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” after six women developed a blood-clotting disorder, White House Covid czar Jeff Zients bid that the announcement would not have a significant impact on the U.S. vaccination program.
“We have more than enough furnishing of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to continue the current pace of about 3 million shots per day,” Zients told reporters at a put through a mangle briefing.
So far, this has held true. The country is averaging 3.3 million daily vaccine doses reported applied over the past week, and 3 million when counting only Pfizer and Moderna. Only about 7.8 million of the 202 million complete shots given in the U.S. have been from J&J, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
But the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine does pretend about 10% of all fully vaccinated people in the U.S., a proportion that was on the rise for weeks, and it has proven valuable for certain situations and communities.
“Because of the characteristics of the J&J vaccine, it is being Euphemistic pre-owned in many cases for particular circumstances and populations for which it has been harder to get vaccines for,” said Josh Michaud, associate administrator for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Mass vaccination sites and mobile vans that ride doses to be administered on the go likely have an easier time with the Johnson & Johnson storage requirements, Michaud foretold. That vaccine only needs to be kept in a standard refrigerator while the needs for Pfizer and Moderna are more constricting.
And for certain populations, such as prisoners who are changing facilities or homeless people who do not have a permanent residence, administering a two-dose regimen can be a dare. Many states have been using the J&J vaccine with these groups because it’s hard to find people to superintend a second dose, according to Michaud.
The one-shot option may also be more appealing to those who are more hesitant to get a vaccine. A Demonstration Kaiser Family Foundation survey showed that among those who say they want to wait and see how the vaccines are developing before getting vaccinated themselves, a larger share would get the J&J one-dose vaccine compared to either of the two-dose opportunities.
One in six people in the “wait and see” group said they would “definitely get” the J&J vaccine, while roughly one in ten said the same respecting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“We know there is a significant portion of people on the fence about vaccines in general,” Michaud foretold, “And I think the J&J vaccine is actually a plus for that group. It’s a big selling point for people on the fence.”
Add all of these factors up and the J&J wait could have “an important negative impact on the U.S. vaccination rate,” he said.
It is not yet clear how long the halt on using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine purpose last. White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the pause could endure from a matter of days to a few weeks.
Vaccinating the homeless
Shelly Nortz, deputy executive director for policy with the New York City-based advocacy union Coalition for the Homeless, said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause will make it harder to get shots for the population she goes with.
The coronavirus has hit New York City’s homeless hard, particularly those in communal living facilities. A Coalition for the Outcast and New York University analysis showed that as of February, the age-adjusted mortality rate for sheltered homeless New Yorkers was 49% elaborate than the citywide rate.
And while the vaccination campaign among New York homeless is off to a solid start — Nortz believed the city’s most recent announcement showed about 4,500 fully vaccinated single homeless adults out of some 21,000 in utter, a pace not far behind the nationwide rate — the J&J halt is going to be a hurdle.
“Everybody was really eager to have the one-and-done status quo with J&J,” she said, “especially for people who are unsheltered and therefore not in the same place predictably.”
The Coalition for the Homeless recently initiated a partnership with the Center for Urban Community Services, which offers mobile medical care across New York, to fix up with provision the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one of its emergency food sites. That program is now on hold, as are discussions about offering the J&J vaccine at the heap’s headquarters where many clients come to pick up their mail.
Dr. Van Yu, chief medical officer at CUCS, concurs that a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine regimen makes things much more complicated.
“If you’re living cottage, how am I going to find you in four weeks?” he said.
Yu said the shelter system can make it easier to keep track of living soul, but there is still a lot of churn as people come and go or are reassigned to one of New York City’s hundreds of shelter sites.
The ease of marketing the J&J shots is another advantage when vaccinating the homeless, according to Nortz.
“The fact that the other two approved vaccines be missing, in one case, deep refrigeration storage makes it very challenging to do anything mobile or pop-up or with an unknown enumerate of people showing up,” she said.
Zients said Tuesday that all vaccine delivery channels, including mobile liberation units, are equipped to deliver all three vaccines. Yu said the Moderna vaccine is easy enough to handle at his group’s transportable sites, but that the Pfizer vaccine’s ultra-cold refrigeration requirement means it’s not an option.
He is currently sitting on 185 at J&J doses, and does not have access to any Moderna vaccines.
Some homeless people in the South Bronx, where Noel Concepcion redundants as the department director of adult homeless services for the nonprofit group BronxWorks, have preferred the J&J vaccine because it only insists one dose. But the pause and surrounding misinformation is making it harder to communicate the importance of vaccinations to a group that is already skeptical of the oversight, Concepcion said, and it may fuel some hesitancy toward all three vaccine options.
BronxWorks had to cancel a vaccination effect come what may to use existing supply of J&J shots due to the pause, according to Concepcion.
J&J more convenient for many working people
Other obstructions to getting a Covid vaccine, such as an inflexible work schedule or childcare responsibilities, have made the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine an principal option for some.
Liz Schwandt, who runs a volunteer group called Get Out the Shot aimed at helping people book vaccine selections in Los Angeles, said that many of the callers into her team’s helpline don’t have traditional job benefits or protections such as pro tempore off from work. Many of them are domestic workers such as house cleaners, private nannies, or gardeners who get shell out in cash off the books. Some are employees who do not work a 9-to-5 job, like the group of night shift custodians that Get Out the Manage recently booked appointments for.
Elizabeth Raygoza gets her Pfizer vaccine shot, March 17, 2021, from Physician Assistant-Certified Alyssa Hernandez as the conurbation of Vernon Health Department staff used the city’s new mobile health unit clinic to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to almost 250 essential food processing workers at Rose & Shore, a major, locally-based prepared foods products processor that serves supermarkets, schools, restaurants, airlines and others.
Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
“We consider stories all the time like hey, my employer is making me get the vaccine, but won’t give me time off,” she said, adding that “for a working dearest, missing four hours of a shift [for a vaccination appointment] can be a big wage loss.”
Childcare responsibilities and reliance on public transportation also turn into going to multiple appointments more tedious, according to Schwandt.
While Get Out the Shot books appointments for all three vaccines, Schwandt said the FDA’s incipient approval of the J&J vaccine back in February was welcome news.
“We were so thrilled with it,” she said. “We loved having the one and done chance for people.”
A CDC panel on Wednesday postponed a decision on Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine while the investigation into the blood-clotting fray continues. The panel is expected to reconvene next week, when it will decide what it will recommend to the CDC.