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Biden Administration and Manufacturers Look for Ways to Speed Vaccinations

Efforts to increase vaccinations for Covid-19 involve finding and reallocation doses that are not being used, removing bottlenecks in manufacturing, testing the efficacy of mixing and matching different types of vaccines, and improving the reporting of daily vaccinations.

The two approved vaccinations from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are now averaging about 1.3 million a day. Adding vaccines from new manufacturers should also be coming in the next couple of months.

Some of the 20,000,000 or so doses that have been delivered but not reported as being used may went to long term care facilities to vaccinate residents and workers, but some of those residents and a fair number of workers turned down the injections. Though nursing homes have been a source of a large share of Covid deaths, the Trump era program has been criticized for its slow progress and inept management. 

www.cnn.com/…The doses had been set aside for a federal partnership between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Walgreens and CVS, which were vaccinating people in facilities in most states.
CNN has counted at least 266,675 doses in 10 states — Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. That is equal to about 8% of the number of people who have been administered at least one dose through the federal program.

More of the 20 million doses have been used but not reported due to lack of staff at some vaccination facilities. This problem may diminish as the vaccinating centers receive more federal funding. In any event, there needs to be a full accounting in case some have been stolen.

www.msn.com/…Feb 3 (Reuters) – Some U.S. community health centers say they are doling out COVID-19 shots far faster than government data suggests, likely accounting for some of a gap between how states and the federal government describe the availability of vaccine doses…

Six states including California, Pennsylvania, and Maryland told Reuters they had identified data reporting lags from some vaccinators. The states said they were working on measures to make their data more accurate.

The number of cases of Covid-19 is declining in nursing homes. 

www.nytimes.com/…The effects of the U.S. vaccination campaign may be starting to show up in the data. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases among nursing residents declined in each of the first three full weeks that vaccines were given in nursing homes, according to data that nursing homes report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not clear how much of that is because of vaccinations…

State and local health authorities are setting up mass vaccination drives, such as at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and are working with the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The campaign is also increasingly expanding into the pharmacies where many Americans are accustomed to getting vaccines.

covid.cdc.gov/…

CDC Reports on US Covid Vaccinations
Dates Doses Delivered All Shots People vac. 2nd shot
1/29 Total 49,932,850 29,577,902 24,064,165 5,259,693
1/30

Sat.

Total

Daily

49,933,259

+409

31,123,299

+1,545,397

25,201,143

+1,136,978

5,657,142

+397,449

1/31

Sun.  

Total

Daily

49,936,450

+3600

32,222,402

+1,099,103

26,023,153

+822,010

5,927,847

+270,705

2/1

Mon.

Total

Daily

52,657,675

+2,721,225

32,780,860

+558,458

26,440,836

+417,683

6,064,792

+136,945

2/2

Tue.

Total

Daily

55,943,800

+3,286,125

33,878,254

+1,097,394

27,154,956

+714,120

6,436,931

+372,139

2/3

Wed

Total

Daily

57,489,675

+1,545,875

35,203,710

+1,325,456

27,905,197

+750,241

6,926,050

+489,119

(States have 72 hours to report vaccine data, so data published by the CDC may be delayed – and may not necessarily mean all doses were given on the day reported.)

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration and vaccine producers are looking at ways to ease manufacturing bottlenecks. Moderna may ask the FDA if it may bottle 15 doses of the vaccine in each phial instead of 10 since bottling and labeling is slowing the distribution.

news.yahoo.com/…The Biden administration and COVID-19 vaccine producers are actively discussing ways to ramp up manufacturing over the next several months, including partnering with additional pharmaceutical firms to help bottle the vaccine for distribution.
According to two individuals familiar with those conversations, the Biden team has been in talks with several companies about stepping in to help in the fill and finish —the act of filling vials with vaccine—portion of the vaccine manufacturing process. Several of those companies have emerged as frontrunners and an announcement could be made in the coming days, those sources said.

AstraZenca, a British/Swedish company is trying mixing and matching different vaccines to achieve greater efficacy against Covid.

www.wesh.com/…“This study will give us greater insight into how we can use vaccines to stay on top of this nasty disease,” said Jonathan Van Tam, the U.K.’s deputy chief medical officer.

He said that given the challenges of immunizing millions of people amid a global vaccine shortage, there would be advantages to having data that could support more “flexible” immunization campaigns.

Johnson and Johnson is expected to ask the FDA for emergency approval of its singe dose vaccine this week so that it might be available by the end of February. Novavax may ask for approval by April. The Russians are not expecting to ask the FDA’s approval for the Sputnik V vaccine.

www.msn.com/…And the scarcity of the two vaccines authorized in the United States, made by Moderna and Pfizer, seems to have made it easier for Novavax to recruit volunteers in its trial here. That speedy enrollment has put the company on track to have results this spring, with possible government authorization as early as April. If all goes right — and nothing is guaranteed — that would mean an influx of 110 million vaccine doses, enough for 55 million Americans at two doses each, by the end of June.


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