Vaccine State of America

Updates from Johns Hopkins on vaccine rollout across the country
Posted at 5:21 PM, Jan 28, 2021

BALTIMORE, MD-- — Vaccine deployment in Maryland is improving, but the lack of vaccine supply nationwide puts a cap on how many Marylanders can get vaccinated in a given day. A Johns Hopkins Doctor however two new vaccines could help significantly boost state supply.

"There are more vaccines in late-stage clinical trials and we have, as we did with Pfizer and Moderna, invested through Operation Warp Speed in the manufacture of those vaccines while the trials are underway,” said Dr. Chris Beyrer, MD. “So if they prove to be safe and effective, we'll be able to have more doses quickly.”

One of those vaccines comes from Johnson and Johnson. They’re expected to release their vaccine trial results early next week and could ask for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA by next week Friday. That vaccine works on different medical technology than the Pfizer and Moderna versions. While it’s still considered safe for human use, the main differences would be it would only need one shot to be effective, and it wouldn’t have to be stored or transported in a freezer.

Another vaccine, from AstraZeneca, could also seek emergency use authorization in the coming weeks. That vaccine, also known as the Oxford vaccine, is already being used in the U.K. and around the world.

This was all part of a larger conversation Johns Hopkins University held over Zoom today on Vaccinating America, and the challenges that come with rolling out the vaccine. One of those challenges is getting the right message across to various religious, ethnic, and cultural groups across the country.

“There's never going to be the message that is going to resonate with all of the United States, said Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist with the University. “What's going to be important is to do rapid research among different social groups to find out what are those messages that resonate with their own social values, world views, scientific understandings, and so we need to have an empirically-based strategy in the United States.”

Dr. Schoch-Spana is also leading a new project, CommuniVax, a group that is conducting research to make sure communities of color aren’t left out as vaccination roll-out continues.