Hospitals and the US government are racing to decide how to utilize the J&J vaccine which was suspended due to rare but severe blood clot reports earlier in April.
While many developing countries are desperately waiting for vaccines, the US government has a J&J stockpile that’s set to expire at end of June. While, many of these vaccines will still be effective even after the expiration date, but they will lose potency.
J&J stores doses are frozen until shipment by the government, at which point they are refrigerated. Doses can be refrigerated for three months, and the drugmaker is running a study to find out if the shelf life can be extended or not.
Hospitals and public-health departments offering the shots have begun special promotions to use J&J’s shots before they expire. Some health systems have redistributed them outside their networks, and some states have rerouted them to physician offices, pharmacies or other states.
Bottom Line: US Government is trying to find the best solution to this dilemma. Some states say they have requested the U.S. government if the doses can be shipped to developing countries. Doing so faces logistical and legal hurdles, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund, because those countries are cautious of using vaccines after expiration dates.