s vaccine effort johnson johnson’s single shot. Cobit vaccine has been found to be effective before fda review. This is the third inoculation to seek emergency use, authorization or emergency use clearance. Excuse me in the country, with external fda advisors, meeting friday, to consider recommendation here to discuss is senior scholar with the hopkins center for health security. Dr amish adulja also bloomberg senior healthcare. Editor drew armstrong, drew thanks for being here too uh, dr adulter. I want to start with you um i’m wondering how this news this morning from the fda changes the recovery uh getting us out of this pandemic. I think it’s great news from the fda, but it’s likely to be more back loaded, as dr fauci says, because there are maybe only 4 million johnson johnson doses on hand, so there’s not a lot to really add to capacity. But any addition to capacity is going to be something that’s very welcome, but this is a vaccine that’s single dose that doesn’t require extreme cold chain, uh keeping it at cold temperatures. So this is something that we will see: accelerate vaccinations it’s just we need more doses on hand to be able to actually put them to good use, but it is something that’s unequivocally good news, hey drew jump on in here. Your team has been very closely analyzing. The role out of vaccine, not just here in the u.s but around the world. How does this change the timeline for widespread inoculation here in the u.
s? So i think the good news here is that you know, as the doctor mentioned, we’ve had the administration kind of talking down some of the j j production, but one of the things that they told congress yesterday was that, yes, they will only have four million doses When they kick this off, but they’ll deliver 20 million doses um through the month of march and then stuck to their commitment to deliver an additional 80 million doses, which is you know, 80 million people over the three months following if you combine that with what’s already Been delivered and what’s scheduled to be delivered from pfizer and modernity, you’re talking about enough vaccine coverage for around 130 million people in the u.s um, they obviously have to meet those commitments and no problems have happened, which i think the pandemic has taught us. You know frequently is not the case, but that is a very big number and i think it’s a bigger number than um a lot of people expected and that the administration has even been talking about. One number i think to dr adulter that a lot of people are going to focus on with this news is 72 percent. The vaccine was 72 effective in a u.s clinical trial, fda staff wrote in a document summarizing the company’s trial data that confirms findings that j j released earlier this month. What would you say to someone who says wait? A second, the vaccines from pfizer and biontech and from moderna those are over 90 effective i’d, rather get one of those or two shots of those one month apart then the j j vaccine.
I would tell them that they’re likely wrong. I would take whatever vaccine is available we’re in a public health emergency and remember that when you look at the primary endpoints of these trials, they were symptomatic infection that’s, not really what matters when it comes to these vaccines. What matters is serious illness, hospitalization and death, and i think they’re all basically equivalent at the ability to do that, even in the face of variance. So i think that there’s, this idea that we can make covet go away and disappear. That’S, not the case. What we’re trying to do is tame this virus through vaccines and all of these vaccines, including the astrazeneca vaccine, have the ability to tame the virus and that’s what we want a vaccine to do so, i would say, get whatever vaccine is available to you as soon As it is available to you drew one shot versus two shots here: how big of a game changer? Is that really meaningful um? You know, first of all, you only have to manufacture half as many doses when you’re doing a one shot. You need half as many vaccine appointments half as many nurses or doctors, or you know anybody who’s doing vaccinations, and then you know i mean the other thing that you’re talking about there is, you know the rollout is easier. Half as many fedex trucks have as many people unloading stuff, you know half as much uh refrigerator space um, you know cutting things in half is you know, it’s really simple, but it makes life a lot easier when you only have to do something um once i Mean this is a meaningful, uh, meaningful thing in terms of the speed and volume of vaccinations, um we’re talking about here.
It just makes the logistical aspects of this. You know that much easier, hey, dr adulter. What do people have to know about the differences between how the johnson and johnson vaccine um what’s actually in it versus the mrna vaccines that that have been available for a couple months already here in the us? So this uses a totally different type of technology. It uses a another virus, basically a common cold causing virus an adenovirus which everybody’s had it uses one of those adenovirus. This is basically engineered to express the spike protein of the coronavirus, so it’s not going to be the same as the mrna vaccine it’s. Another vaccine platform that many people were really excited about, that’s, really getting a chance to show that it can work and it’s going to be something that has a little bit of a different side effect profile. We, if you look at the trial data, they didn’t have those serious allergic reactions with the johnson johnson vaccine, and that may be due to the fact that it’s using a different technology and it doesn’t require the cold storage, as your other guests mentioned. And that may be because it’s a little bit easier to store because it’s not using those lipid nanoparticles it’s, not using mrna. So there are. There are some differences and i think we’ll see as we vaccinate more people how how it fares overall in adverse reactions. But in the side effects and the muscle, aches and pains versus versus the modern and the pfizer versions, but they’re not going to be identical because they’re different technologies, i think it’s good, that we had multiple shots on goal with different technologies.
But is it a technology? That’S been used in humans before dr adulja it’s been used in other types of vaccines, so, for example, the ebola they’ve used adenoviruses and ebola vaccines. There were hiv vaccine trials that use adenoviruses the uh. The oxford astrozonica vaccine uses a different adenovirus. The sputnik vaccine in russia uses an adenovirus. So yes, this is a this va. This virus, the adenovirus, is common. Cold causing virus is considered a common carrier to be used in vaccine platforms, so it’s been something that’s been studied for a long time. Uh before we’ve seen this uh, the johnson johnson vaccine use it for covid drew. Unfortunately, there has been some vaccine hesitancy in this country and other countries as well when it comes to the mrna vaccines, given that that this technology has been used in other vaccines when it comes to the johnson and johnson vaccine, do you think that this will help Increase the the number of people who are might have been on the fence before about getting a vaccine and say wait a second i’m, not so much on the fence. Now, because this is technology, that’s been used before yeah. So i think it’s it’s important to keep in mind that, yes, we have seen vaccine hesitancy. This happened in some of the nursing homes. Um though i will say you know i think it’s worth assuming that vaccine hesitancy is not static. One of the comments um, i i heard from uh the woman who runs the nursing home program.
The cdc was that there were a lot of staff who, on the first visit to a nursing home, might say i don’t want to be a guinea pig for this, but on the second visit to a nursing home when they came back we’re. Saying, okay, give me my first dose, so you know vaccine hesitancy can change as people see that these are safe and that are reducing infection. So i think it’s really important to mention to keep in mind the idea that you know this is not a. This is a problem that can move and be altered as people get more familiar with these and just over time. The second thing that i think we really do need to keep in mind is that, yes, there is vaccine hesitancy out there, but also just about every available dose of this stuff. That it’s practical to use is making people’s arms. We are in a supply, limited environment when it comes to vaccine uh. Right now, we are not in a demand, limited um environment right. We look at in terms of you know the number of things that are going out there and what’s going into arms. You know these things are getting used and i think most people, you know if you hear listening anecdotally, no one is saying: oh i’m, you know i’m ending the day with lots and lots of unused vaccine, because people are turning this down. You’Ve got people lining up outside grocery stores.
You know hoping that there will be leftover overdoses that will probably change in the future, and we’ll have to do more outreach to get that done. But you know that is not the world we live in right now, hey dr adult i’ve been having this conversation a lot with friends over the past couple weeks as more and more people get vaccinated. The main question is you know, when can my parents come visit? Our kids, when can grandma and grandpa, come and visit, because more people over the age of 65 in the united states are getting vaccinated but at the same time um younger people aren’t because they’re not yet. You know a priority to be vaccinated. When is it safe? For people to start getting together again, if more and more of the population is getting vaccinated, so i think if two people are vaccinated on the same time scale that they’ve got vaccinated around the same time. It’S been two weeks since their second dose there’s, no problem with two vaccinated people hanging out at all, and i think, if you’re a vaccinated person, you are likely going to be able to do most of your activities that you’ve done before that you don’t really po. You don’t really have a risk of getting serious infection or getting hospitalized. So i think that we have to be optimistic about this vaccine that it is a way to reclaim your life and there’s. A lot of people who are really trying to focus on asymptomatic infections and the data coming from israel does show that these vaccines do block asymptomatic infections.
So i think we can’t keep underselling these vaccines, that if you’re vaccinated and it’s been two weeks, you’re likely not very much of a risk to anybody else, and you definitely don’t have a risk of the coronavirus. So i do think that you should be trying to resume whatever activities you feel comfortable doing without without really being worried about it. It’S going to take some time for the public health guidance to change for masks, for example, and for other types of mass gatherings. But in general you know these vaccines are very uh, are huge tools that are going to improve your lives, that’s, the what reason you’re getting vaccinated is to go back to your life, so i think that we have to be. You know honest with the public and say this is what we’re, with the prospect that we’re facing and there’s a lot of doomsayers out there that are undermining the vaccines and it’s causing vaccine hesitancy, because people say well, why should i get vaccinated if it doesn’t change? Anything but it does change things and i think we have to see the guidance move that way, but in general, yes, i think your risk from covet 19 basically goes to goes very low, less than five percent of symptomatic disease in basically zero percent for serious illness. Hospitalization or death, if you get vaccinated so i say: go ahead and visit your grandchildren do what you were doing before and and don’t be worried about it all right.
I love it. Don’T be worried about it. Let’S end with that good news. There senior scholar with the hopkins center for health security, dr amish adultia, also bloomberg senior healthcare, editor drew armstrong, a big thank you to both of you guys. For for your time, we should note that the johns hopkins bloomberg school of public health is supported by michael r, bloomberg, founder of bloomberg, lp and bloomberg.