J&J vaccine authorized, VRBPAC has fantastic hold music

Yesterday, the FDA gave the Janssen—did you know it’s pronounced yahn-sen? I didn’t—vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, allowing it to join the likes of Pfizer and Moderna in the exclusive club of vaccines that may now be distributed in the U.S. Welcome, Janssen. (As a total coincidence I’m wearing my shirt that just says “Vaccines!” on it as I write this.) But the addition of a new vaccine in circulation also brings data reporting questions with few easy answers.

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Access barriers lead to vaccination disparity in NYC

27 states are now reporting race and ethnicity data for their vaccinations. This week, New York joined that number. New York City also started reporting these data last Sunday, as I noted in that day’s issue. Despite promises from city and state leadership to prioritize equity in the vaccine rollout, the numbers so far are showing white New Yorkers getting vaccinated at much higher rates than their Black and Hispanic/Latino neighbors.

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Vaccination is a logistics problem

The federal government is distributing millions of doses each week, and many of those doses are making it into arms. By sheer numbers, we are already on track to meet President Biden’s 100 million vaccinations in 100 days goal. Our current problem is, in fact, a logistics one. It’s a build up of infrastructure failures, with all the weight falling on underfunded local public health departments.

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Vaccine confusion abounds—and this is the easy stage

Despite the federal government’s intense push to get vaccines through safety trials, that “last mile” step—from the Pfizer and Moderna factories to people’s arms—has been under-planned and underfunded. CDD analyzes publicly reported vaccination phases for every state and vaccine registration portals, along with other data updates.

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Vaccination data update, Jan. 3

Despite the holidays, several more states began reporting vaccination data in the past week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also made a huge update: this national dashboard is now posting vaccination counts at the state level. And I made a vaccination data resource page!

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15 states are reporting COVID-19 vaccination data—federal government lags behind

This past week, the first COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered to frontline healthcare workers across the country. The FDA issued Emergency Use Authorization to a second vaccine. But I haven’t seen a vaccination dashboard from the CDC. This federal agency is lagging behind several states that are making their vaccination counts public, as well as journalists who have already begun to compile the limited information that’s available.

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Vaccines are shipping out, but is the U.S. ready to track them?

Already, four states are claiming that they will be unable to start administering vaccinations until January, while several other states have deferred the decision about who gets a shot first to healthcare providers. While the CDC has issued guidances, many logistics are left up to states—the same type of fractured system which has prevented America from getting its testing under control. True to my beat, I am most concerned about vaccine data. Earlier this week, the New York Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported that some states are refusing to report vaccination data to the CDC. Here’s why I’m concerned about this, along with some other vaccine-related news and resources.

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