No immediate impact in Missouri from Johnson & Johnson vaccine problem

Tracking Coronavirus

FILE – This Saturday, March 6, 2021 file photo shows vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the pharmacy of National Jewish Hospital for distribution in east Denver. The European Medicines Agency is meeting Thursday March 11, 2021, to discuss whether Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine should be authorized, a move that would give the European Union a fourth licensed vaccine to try to curb the pandemic amid a stalled inoculation drive. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The loss of up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to a manufacturing mistake should have no immediate impact in Missouri, according to a state health official.

Adam Crumbliss, director of the public health division of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told a vaccine advisory panel earlier this week that increases in Missouri’s vaccine supplies in the short term are expected to come from Pfizer, not Johnson & Johnson.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that Crumbliss said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet “clearly articulated” to states what the impact would be from Johnson & Johnson’s manufacturing problem. The company announced Wednesday that a batch failed quality standards and couldn’t be used.

If the single-dose vaccine would have been distributed by population, as it has been, Missouri would eventually stand to lose 1.77% of the 15 million lost doses, or about 265,000 doses.

Crumbliss cited the professions that are now authorized to offer vaccinations in Missouri, a list that now includes dentists, midwives, optometrists, podiatrists, veterinarians, respiratory therapists and students of certain health care professions.

The state is seeking to increase the number of vaccinations being offered and to distribute them to groups that face economic, transportation or other barriers to the health care system.

The state has reported 490,321 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 8,501 deaths. The health department on Friday reported that 1.65 million Missourians, or 26.9% of those eligible, have received at least one vaccine dose. The per capita rate ranks among the bottom 10 of all states.

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