What We're Reading: J&J Vaccine Rollout; Vaccination Timeline for Children; Post–COVID-19 Clinics

March 1, 2021
AJMC Staff

The first batch of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped today to states and pharmacies nationwide; Anthony Fauci, MD, says elementary school-aged children very likely to able to be vaccinated by first quarter 2022; special clinics nationwide try to treat COVID-19 survivors who continue to experience long-term symptoms.

Rollout of J&J Vaccine Begins in the United States

Reported by ABC News, the first batch of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped today to states and pharmacies nationwide, coming 2 days after the FDA granted emergency use authorization to the 1-shot vaccine. J&J announced its plans to distribute 3.9 million doses to state and local governments based on the size of the local adult population, with doses able to be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures. Based on trial data, the J&J vaccine is 85% effective at preventing severe illness and 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths 28 days after vaccination.

Fauci Says Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Likely Coming in Early 2022

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, MD, said that elementary school-aged children will potentially be able to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the end of the year, or very likely in the first quarter of 2022. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that studies are already underway examining the efficacy and safety of vaccines for younger children who can still contract the virus, get severely ill, and transmit it to others despite being at less risk than adults. High school students were additionally said to be likely to be able to receive vaccines around the start of the new school year in the fall.

Speciality Clinics Try to Treat COVID-19 Long-Haulers

According to an analysis by NBC News, special clinics nationwide are trying to help COVID-19 survivors who continue to experience symptoms months after the infection is cleared. Notably, an estimated 10% to 30% of the the 28 million Americans diagnosed with COVID-19 were indicated to fall in the category known as “long-haulers,” or as the National Institutes of Health recently called it: "Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection," or PASC. These patients cope with a wide range of lingering symptoms, including life-altering fatigue, ongoing shortness of breath, headaches, and even hair loss.