05 February 2021

The Latest COVID-19 Vaccine News for the Week of February 5

Thanks to those who were able to join us for our three webinars last 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 submitted an application to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization of its vaccine. As discussed last week, initial data indicates the vaccine is not as effective as either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. However, according to the data the vaccine is still very effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Importantly, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose vaccine that can be stored for at least three months at most standard refrigerator temperatures. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be stored at very cold temperatures which can complicate distribution and lead to spoilage. The FDA announced that it will meet at the end of February to review the data and the EUA application.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan expanded the categories of individuals eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Any food service employee living or working in Detroit, regardless of age, can now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at the TCF Center. Mayor Duggan also expanded eligibility to include any security guard or janitor living or working in Detroit.  The announcement highlights why it is important for individuals and employers to monitor local rules and regulations addressing vaccine eligibility.  Miller Johnson is in the process of compiling eligibility rules announced by local health departments which will be made available to subscribers of our COVID-19 resource page.

Latest Distribution and Administration Numbers

Vaccine distribution began in the US on December 14, 2020, and according to the CDC, more than 57.5 million doses have been distributed. That is an increase of just under 10 million over last week. As of today, 35.2 million doses have been administered which is an increase of almost 8 million from last week.  The pace of vaccine administration is slightly down from the pace of 1.26 million doses per day last week.  Just above 6.9 million individuals have been fully vaccinated.

Here in Michigan, just over 1.8 million doses have been distributed with nearly half of those, 850,050, going to hospitals and most of the remaining doses going to local health departments and the long term care program. Michigan has administered more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine which is an increase of just more than 277,700 from 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 of administering 50,000 vaccines per day.