CoronavirusNewsThe NorthSider

No immediate impact in Missouri from J&J vaccine problem

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The loss of up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to a manufacturing mistake should have no immediate impact in Missouri, according to a state health official.

Adam Crumbliss, director of the public health division of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told a vaccine advisory panel earlier this week that increases in Missouri’s vaccine supplies in the short term were expected to come from Pfizer, not Johnson & Johnson.

Crumbliss said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not yet “clearly articulated” to states what the impact would be from Johnson & Johnson’s manufacturing problem. The company announced Wednesday that a batch had failed quality standards and couldn’t be used.

If that batch of the single-dose vaccine would have been distributed by population, as it has been, Missouri would have stood to lose 1.77 percent of the 15 million faulty doses, or about 265,000 doses.

Crumbliss cited the professions whose members are now authorized to offer vaccinations in Missouri, a list that includes dentists, midwives, optometrists, podiatrists, veterinarians, respiratory therapists and students of certain health care professions.

The state is seeking to increase the number of vaccinations being offered and to distribute them to groups that face economic, transportation or other barriers to the health care system.

The state has reported 490,321 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 8,501 deaths. The health department reported Friday that 1.65 million Missourians, or 26.9 percent of those eligible, had received at least one vaccine dose. The per capita rate ranks among the bottom 10 of all states.

The city of St. Louis has a current tally of 20,699 confirmed cases and 454 deaths.

MetroSTL.com staff contributed to this report.

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