Drug execs face Capitol Hill questions on COVID-19 vaccine supply – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-02-23 12:00:00 –

Washington >> Leading COVID-19 vaccine producer executives answer questions from today’s Congress about expanding the supply of shots needed to curb the pandemic that killed more than 500,000 Americans I am ready.

Hearings are held as US vaccinations have been delayed and continue to accelerate after the recent winter weather turmoil. However, state health officials say the demand for vaccination still far exceeds the limited weekly shipments provided by the federal government.

A committee of the Energy and Commerce Commission has begun hearing testimony from five companies, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Nova Bucks, that have signed a contract to supply COVID-19 shots to the United States.

“Currently, the most pressing issue is the lack of vaccine doses,” Diana Degette said at a hearing. “Some of the companies here today are still short of the number of doses they promised to offer first when they last testified before this subcommittee in July.”

Degette, a Democrat of Colorado, chairs the Investigation Subcommittee that convened today’s hearing. She asked for “easy evaluation of where the manufacturing process is.”

Pharmaceutical company executives are expected to face sharp questions about whether shortages of raw materials, personnel and funding are limiting the pace of manufacturing. Parliamentarians are also expected to ask if further use of the Defense Production Act, a Cold War law used to force private sector manufacturing, will help speed up the process.

In a written testimony released Monday, company executives did not explain any shortfalls or other bottlenecks that had not yet been addressed.

More than 75 million doses of the two-shot regimen vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna have already been distributed to the state, with nearly 14% of Americans receiving at least the initial dose. Pfizer plans to ship more than 13 million times a week by mid-March.

New Brunswick, NJ-based J & J said in its testimony that it could supply 20 million single-shot COVID-19 vaccines in the United States by the end of March, assuming federal regulatory approval. Did. The company has promised to supply the US government with 100 million doses by the end of June.

White House officials warned last week that they would be restricted, but the company had previously released few details about its initial supply.

Richard Nettles, Vice President of J & J, will inform lawmakers that the company faces “significant challenges” in scaling up vaccines due to the “very complex” manufacturing process. Nettle says the company is on track to supply the promised US dose and $ 1 billion globally by the end of 2021.

The Food and Drug Administration will give urgent approval for J & J’s vaccine this weekend, offering the first one-shot option to protect against viruses.

Despite current constraints, federal health officials say the United States is at the forefront of breakthroughs in supply, with a total of 600 million doses planned by late July. That would be enough to meet the government’s goal of providing enough shots for all American adults.

Even without production or supply interruptions, other issues can delay or prevent the United States from vaccination of 70% to 80% of the population. This is an important threshold needed to neutralize the COVID-19 epidemic.

Associated Press-A recent poll from the National Poll Center says that about one in three Americans will definitely or probably not get the vaccine. Safety concerns were the reason most frequently cited for vaccine repellent, even though there were few serious side effects reported with currently available vaccines.

Drug execs face Capitol Hill questions on COVID-19 vaccine supply Source link Drug execs face Capitol Hill questions on COVID-19 vaccine supply

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