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J&J Vaccine’s Expiration Date Encourages Donation

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 06/08/2021 - 14:24

Mexico to receive 1 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine next week as a donation from the US. The northern country has a large number of unused doses that are soon to expire.

The US’s numerous Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines are facing a rapidly coming expiration date, as they only have three months of shelf-life. The current situation arose after the CDC’s safety concerns put on hold the approval of the shot last month. Reuters reports that the US has about 21 million unused doses of this vaccine.

In an effort to save the vaccines from going to waste, the US has decided to donate them. Last Thursday, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the country would receive 1 million doses of this shot as a donation from the US. Today, US Vice President Kamala Harris, confirmed that the doses will be delivered next week.

Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced that these doses will be distributed among adults between 18-40 years old in the northern border of Mexico. “This zone will include 39 municipalities in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. With the doses of J&J from the US, a third of the population (in those states) will be vaccinated.”

Ebrard also explained that the decision to use them along Mexico’s northern border was taken to encourage the reactivation of activities in the region, which are highly important to the Mexican economy. “Mexico wishes to pair with the US’s vaccine distribution. This could help ease the restrictions along the border,” said Ebrard.

Mexico already had reached out to Janssen, Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, to buy COVID-19 vaccines, said Mario Sturion, Managing Director of Janssen Mexico to MBN. “Janssen has used the vector method for vaccine development that had already been used for other diseases like Zika and HIV,” said Sturion on the vaccine’s development process. “Development takes its given time and that is what has enabled the current vaccines. Without the time invested in developing previous vaccines, finding a solution to COVID-19 in record time would not be possible or safe,” he added.

Aside from its donation to Mexico, the US is expected to donate a total of 80 million COVID-19 vaccines. The donation would be distributed through the COVAX mechanism, where Latin America would be a priority. So far, 6 million doses will be distributed in South and Central America, in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Guatemala and Haiti. Also, 7 million doses will go to Asia and 5 million to Africa. Mexico’s donation was made directly, and so will be the donations to Canada, Egypt, Iraq and Yemen. Regarding these donations, US President Joe Biden said “we share these doses, not for favors or concessions. We share these vaccines to save lives and lead the world to end the pandemic with the power of our example and our values.”

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst