29 January 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine News for the week of January 29

Thanks to those who were able to join us for our three webinars this week addressing the latest news and legal issues impacting vaccine distribution and administration.  Miller Johnson has been tracking the latest vaccine updates and will continue to keep clients informed of the latest news and developments.

Latest Vaccine News

Johnson & Johnson released data from its 44,000-person phase 3 trial. According to the study, the vaccine prevented 66% of moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. Encouragingly, the vaccine was 85% effective at preventing severe infections and 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. Johnson & Johnson said it plan to file for an emergency use authorization (EUA) with the FDA next week. The company expect to receive FDA approval in March and anticipates it will have product ready to ship immediately. If approved, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to provide the US with 100 million doses in the first half of the years.

In other vaccine news, Merck has pulled the plug on its COVID-19 vaccine after a review of its Phase 1 clinical studies. However, Merck did announce it will continue to develop therapeutic candidates. In more encouraging news, Sanofi agreed to produce millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The partnership will result in the production of another 125 million doses with the goal of delivering the vaccines this summer.

Latest Distribution and Administration Numbers

Vaccine distribution began in the US on December 14, 2020 and according to the CDC, more than 48 million doses have been distributed. As of today,  27.3 million vaccines have been administered in the United States. In the last week, an average of 1.26 million doses were administered each day which is an increase from last week and would allow the new administration to exceed its goal of 100 million doses in 100 days.

Here in Michigan, almost 1.5 million doses have been distributed with nearly half of those, 746,900, going to hospitals and most of the remaining 50% going to local health departments and the long term care program. Michigan has administered 854,084 doses of the vaccine which is an increase of just over 200,000 form last week. Again, the majority of those were administered by hospitals followed by local health departments and pharmacies. Michigan is still falling short of its goal to administer 50,000 vaccines per day. However, early this week the Biden Administration announced it will increase the number of doses shipped to states from a minimum of 8.6 million a week to 10 million a week.  In addition, the administration announced it has purchased an additional 200 million vaccine doses.

Join us this week for a webinar addressing the Provider Relief Fund on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8 am

And for those who could not join us this week, visit our COVID-19 webinar page to find links to the recordings of this week’s three webinars which addressed the latest vaccine news and other legal issues.