Johnson and Johnson is ready to ship 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson gets emergency use authorization from the FDA for COVID-19 vaccination
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has authorized use of the J & J COVID-19 vaccine. The single dose could be ready to ship throughout the country this week. The company says it has about four million doses ready to go and they should have another 20 million at the end of March. With losing over 500K Americans to COVID-19, another vaccine will be well-received.
The vaccine is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of J & J and has proven to be safe, effective, and flexible. The single dose vaccine doesn’t require special storage and is proven to be 72% effective overall in the U.S. against COVID-19 and 85% effective against severe forms of the virus.
The vaccine was tested in more than 44,000 people ages 18 and older in the U.S., South Africa, and Latin America. In all three countries, the effectiveness of the vaccine was 66.1% after four weeks of vaccination.
There are side effects to the vaccine. Most are mild including pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue and muscle pain. There were few reported cases of serious adverse events, according to the FDA, and no reported cases of anaphylaxis at the conclusion of the trial.
There was further research gathered that showed the vaccine may help prevent asymptomatic infections. A study conducted by the CDC showed most cases of COVID-19 were spread through contact with asymptomatic carriers. If there's an opportunity to squash the transmission of the disease through this group, there’s even more to cheer about.
“I think it’s a relatively easy call. It clearly gets way over the bar, and it’s nice to have a single-dose vaccine,” said Dr. Rubin, a member of the committee and chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. There’s so much positive data.
There will be some hurdles to climb based on public perception. The two previously approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have data showing a 95% effectiveness against serious COVID-19 complications/hospitalizations. J & J has touted a 72% effectiveness. Experts say the numbers are misleading and that J & J’s COVID-19 vaccine has very positive outcomes.
One of the distinct differences in the numerical data is based on the fact that studies for Moderna and Pfizer took place before other variants of the disease were introduced into various populations. FDA research found that the majority of the cases that happened during the South African part of the J & J trail came from a newer and possibly more contagious variant.
All are encouraged to take whatever vaccine is available. All three vaccines have proven effectiveness against serious COVID-19 complications. As the variants continue to infect sectors of the population, it’s important to get vaccinated.
Most of Kentucky is in the orange zone though vigilance is still required.
Graves County is now out of the red zone. The daily average of COVID-19 cases in the county have fallen below the threshold of 25 positive cases per 100,000 based on coronavirus information on ky.gov.
The state of Kentucky has seen more than half of its counties drop out of the red zone. Graves is averaging between 10 -25 cases over a seven day period landing the county in the orange zone. It's still important to stay vigilant. Governor Andy Beshear said that it's too early to relax.
“We have made incredible strides against this evil virus, but we can’t let up yet. Even Kentuckians who have been vaccinated should continue to mask up, social distance and keep any gatherings small. Team Kentucky, we are so close to getting through this together, but we must remain vigilant and run through the finish line to slow the spread and save as many lives as possible,” said Governor Beshear.
The Graves County Health Department is receiving 100 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine weekly. There are 2,500 seniors, 70 and older, still waiting to be vaccinated. It's important to sign up on any list available.
Residents should note, however, that they must return to that same facility for the important second dose.
According to Team Kentucky and Kentucky Public Health, Gibsons Pharmacy is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Graves County, Kentucky. You may call to register. All they need is your name, date of birth, and phone number. 270-247-1055. Regional locations in western Kentucky include Lourdes Mercy-Health, Baptist Health in Paducah and the CFSB Center in Murray.
715 East Broadway, Mayfield, KY 270-247-1055
Paducah- Today's briefing was chalked full of good information. Across Kentucky and throughout the U.S., positive news is spreading regarding steps taken to beat COVID-19. Discussions included new recommendations on wearing masks, the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund, new vaccination sites across the state, and the COVID-19 daily numbers.
New guidelines for wearing masks to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 have been circulating over the past week. Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health said masks that don't fit tight across the nose and sides of the face, aren't as protective as they need to be. There's data out there that proves the rate of transmission is lessened by those who wear masks properly.
A solution to this problem lies in doubling up. Wear two masks instead of one. The bottom layer should be a surgical mask and the top layer a cloth mask. There are ways to tighten the mask as well. The diagram at the top of the page shows various ways one can wear their masks more efficiently.
Also discussed was the efficacy of the vaccine. It's been proven that death and serious illness due to COVID-19 can be prevented by being vaccinated. There's no data available that says a person who's been vaccinated, can't get a mild case of the coronavirus. Therefore, it's important to continue social distancing, wearing masks, and using proper hygiene.
Once vaccinated, the effectiveness of the inoculation has been proven to last for 11 weeks or three months. In a recent study, Interim Clinical Consideration for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines, it states, "“While there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection is low in the months after initial infection but may increase with time due to waning immunity.
Dr. Stack said, "This isn't a Get out of Jail FREE card." If you've been vaccinated and find out later you've been exposed to COVID-19, contact your local health department for direction on how to proceed with the potential need to quarantine.
The Healthy at Home Eviction Relieve Fund is being 'beefed up.' More money will be available for paying rent and utilities. In some instances, landlords may receive direct payments.
There are 156 new vaccination sites across Kentucky. Six new regional sites, 10 Kroger locations, 15 Walmart's, and 125 pharmacies. Western Kentucky will have two Kroger stores: Paducah and Murray. Three Walmart locations: Paducah, Hopkinsville, and Mayfield.
Today's COVID-19 numbers showed that positive cases are declining. There were 1,880 cases reported February 11. Hospitalizations, ICU, and ventilator patients were stable. The Positivity rate is 7.08%. There were 36 deaths reported.
Two Paducah hospitals, Baptist Health and Lourdes-Mercy Health announced their vaccination plans for the COVID-19 vaccine. The western Kentucky hospitals are the two regional vaccination sites that will be administering the vaccine to surrounding counties over the next several weeks.
Both Mercy Health and Baptist Health in Paducah will begin administering their shipments of the vaccines next week. The Purchase District Health Department learned they will soon be able to vaccinate more people. Bear in mind, the doses are primarily for those 70 years of age and older. If you're in Group A, this is what you need to know.
Baptist Health Paducah will soon open up as a regional vaccination site. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brad Housman said they will be getting 500 doses a week which will be increased to 1,000 a week when its time for second doses. Baptist Health will start administering the vaccine next Wednesday afternoon. The clinic will be inside the Barnes Auditorium at the Carson-Myer Heart Center.
Dr. Housman said the plan is to have vaccination clinics for both primary and secondary doses on Monday through Thursday in the afternoon and early evening hours. To schedule an appointment, you'll need to register online and that page should be ready in the next few days. More information is to come.
There's no phone number to call for Baptist Health appointments. Housman said they are working on making other resources available for people who don't have internet access.
The second regional vaccination site for western Kentucky Is Mercy Health Paducah. The hospital first began vaccinating people 70 and older on January 18 at the Mercy Health Medical Pavilion with a previous allotment of 1,000 doses.
They are finishing up the remaining appointments this week. Beginning next Monday, February 8, Mercy Health will start administering a new shipment of doses at the same location.
Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jenny Franke at Mercy Health said they will be getting 500 doses a week for people who have yet to be vaccinated and another 500 a week for people who need second doses. If you want to schedule an appointment, the number is 866-624-0366. As of today, Thursday, February 4, appointments are full. When calling the number, they say to keep checking back for more doses.
They will have an online registration as well, however, it's not ready yet. Dr. Franke said Mercy Health was told to only schedule appointments for the next three weeks.