What We’re Reading: J&J Vaccine Will Go Before FDA; Cancer Survivor Concerns; Wasted COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

An FDA committee will discuss emergency use authorization of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (J&J); American Cancer Society issues a report on cancer survivor concerns; Tennessee is found to have wasted thousands of vaccine doses.

FDA’s VRBPAC to Meet About EUA for J&J Vaccine

On Friday, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will convene to discuss issuing an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. Officials from Janssen, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and the CDC will present phase 3 trial data on the single-dose vaccine’s effectiveness against both common strains and newly emerging variants. The vaccine has demonstrated 86% and 82% effectiveness against severe COVID-19 cases in the United States and South Africa, respectively, with overall effectiveness rates of 72% and 64%, reports The New York Times.

ACS Report Highlights Top Cancer Survivor Concerns

Treatment and care disruptions, affordability, and social isolation are just some of the main concerns of cancer survivors, according to a new American Cancer Society (ACS) report released today in Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. COVID-19’s impact on the risk of intensive care unit admission and death was the No. 1 concern for 77% of the 972 respondents to the ACS’ Cancer Action Network’s Survivor Views Panel Study. The amount of interrupted care highlights the need for policy intervention improvements and new health care delivery models that address patient safety and their financial concerns, the authors note.

Tennessee’s DOH Finds Wasted Vaccine Doses

A recent investigation by Tennessee’s Department of Health (DOH) reveals widespread issues, including spoiled doses and poor record-keeping, in that state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, according to The Associated Press. More than 2400 doses were found to have gone unused in Shelby County (the state’s largest) alone in February, with the DOH report blaming recent winter storms for the tossing of 1000 of these doses. Local officials also reportedly sat on tens of thousands of additional shots. Going forward, vaccine distribution will be handled by hospital partners and city officials of Memphis, which is in Shelby County.