J&J vaccine problems hamper US military vaccines overseas

US military leaders have said that recent problems with the Johnson Johnson vaccine have made it more difficult to provide shots for forces overseas, and that vaccines have been offered to service members families or other tier two beneficiaries in only 40 per cent of the military sites outside the US.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 09-04-2021 03:20 IST | Created: 09-04-2021 03:17 IST
J&J vaccine problems hamper US military vaccines overseas
Representative image Image Credit: Twitter(@JNJNews)

US military leaders have said that recent problems with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have made it more difficult to provide shots for forces overseas, and that vaccines have been offered to service members' families or other tier two beneficiaries in only 40 per cent of the military sites outside the US. Speaking at a Pentagon press conference, they said they are making up for the Johnson & Johnson shortfall by shipping more Moderna vaccines to forces outside the country. The cold temperature and other requirements for the Pfizer vaccine make it more difficult to send overseas.

Johnson & Johnson had to discard 15 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine last month because the batch did not met quality standards. The loss in expected vaccines was a greater problem for the military, because it had targeted the Johnson & Johnson shot for distribution overseas since it only requires one dose and doesn't need the strict temperature controls that others do.

Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, told reporters that based on President Joe Biden's latest guidance for all adults, the department will begin offering vaccines to all eligible troops, family members and other beneficiaries by April 19.

Some troops and their famlies overseas have expressed frustration at their inability to get a vaccine, particularly since many are in areas, including around Europe, that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Place said that in many locations the vaccines are still being offered only to tier one individuals, which include troops who are deployed, health care or emergency workers, and beneficiaries who are 65 and older.

He added that while just 7 per cent of the eligible Defense Department population is outside the US, the Pentagon is shipping 14 per cent of the doses it gets to overseas locations.

'That said, if you're a service member stationed overseas or a family member, likewise stationed overseas, and you haven't received a vaccine and you don't know when you'll be able to, these numbers mean nothing,'' said Place. ''And it's understandably frustrating.'' Place said that he expects to be able to deliver at least an initial dose to every eligible Defense Department person overseas who wants one by the middle of May.

Military officials from across the services said that they are seeing an increase in the rate of those agreeing to take the vaccine. In mid-February, military officials said that thousands of service members were refusing or putting off the COVID-19 vaccine, prompting Defense leaders to beef up efforts to educate troops about the shots, which are strictly voluntary.

Over time, however, Place said that the acceptance rate is growing, although the Pentagon has not provided numbers and has said it doesn't collect data on those who opt out of the vaccine.

''We continue to see many individuals who were taking a wait and see approach now coming in for the vaccine,'' he said.

National Guard leaders said Thursday that close to 18 percent of their forces - or more than 76,000 - have been fully vaccinated, and another 111,000 have gotten at least one shot. Guard troops are also working in many states to help deliver the vaccine, particularly in more remote or underserved locations.

There are more than 2,200 guard members spread across 1,000 different sites, including mobile vaccination centers, who are providing vaccines. As of this week, Guard members had administered 6 million shots to people around the country.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...


Latest News

Keralite nun found dead inside convent well

Kollam Ker, Apr 16 PTI A 42-year-old Catholic nun was found dead inside the well of the St Joseph convent at Kureepuzha in this south Kerala district on Friday, police said.The other inmates noticed the body of Mable Joseph, a native of Kar...

Mumbai: Man arrested for refusing to wear mask, misbehaving with traffic cops

The Mumbai Police on Thursday arrested a man for allegedly refusing to wear a mask, verbally abusing and misbehaving with the citys traffic police. As per the Mumbai Police, the incident took place in the Mulund area of Mumbai at around 11....

Fight against COVID: Harsh Vardhan to visit hospitals over next few days to assess, scale-up facilities

Amidst the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will visit various healthcare facilities over the next few days to assess and further scale-up facilities. The union minister visited the All ...

Ajay Seth takes over as new Economic Affairs Secretary

Ajay Seth, a 1987 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre, on Friday assumed charge as Secretary Economic Affairs at a time when the economy which was showing signs of recovery is being threatened by the second wave of COVID-19.Seth replaces T...

Give Feedback