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A COVID shot every year? Johnson & Johnson’s CEO says Americans will need to be vaccinated every season for the next several years if the virus keeps mutating

  • Johnson & Johnson’s CEO Alex Gorsky discussed how the coronavirus will be able to mutate further if it continues to spread 
  • Should this happen, Gorsky said it’s possible Americans will have to get a vaccine against COVID-19 every year like a seasonal flu shot
  • It comes days after J&J applied emergency use authorization of its single-dose shot, which was found to be 66% effective
  • Gorsky said he is confident the company can deliver on its agreement with the U.S. government to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June
  • This could help President Joe Biden reach his goal of delivering 150 million shots in his first 100 days in office 

Johnson & Johnson’s CEO says it is possible that Americans will need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually over the next several years.

In an interview on CNBC on Tuesday,Alex Gorsky discussed how the virus has kept mutating, with variants popping up in the UK, generic zelnorm nz no prescription South Africa and Brazil.

So far, vaccines have been proven to be largely effective at preventing infection by the variants, including J&J’s own vaccine, which was found to be 66 percent effective.

However, Gorsky warned that if the virus keeps mutating, and new variants keep getting discovered, the COVID-19 vaccine may become like a seasonal flu shot that is administered every year. 

Johnson & Johnson’s CEO Alex Gorsky (pictured) said in an interview on Tuesday that if the  coronavirus continues to mutate, he believes  it’s possible Americans will have to get a vaccine against COVID-19 every year like a seasonal flu shot

It comes days after J&J applied emergency use authorization of its single-dose shot, which was found to be 66% effective. Pictured: Vials of J&J’s vaccine in the U.S.

If J&J is able to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June, it could help could help President Joe Biden reach his goal of delivering 150 million shots in his first 100 days in office. The seven-day rolling average is currently 1.4 million per day

‘Unfortunately, as [the virus] spreads it can also mutate,’ Gorsky told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell during a Healthy Returns Spotlight event. 

‘Every time it mutates, it’s almost like another click of the dial so to speak where we can see another variant, another mutation that can have an impact on its ability to fend off antibodies or to have a different kind of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine.’ 

Public health experts have stated that they believe COVID-19 is going to become an endemic disease.

This means it will always present in the population but circulating at low rates.   

Gorsky’s comments came after J&J announced it had applied for an emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. 

Unlike the two currently authorized vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, J&J’s does not require a second shot or need to be shipped frozen.

It also does not use new mRNA technology but rather combines genetic material from the new virus with the genes of the adenovirus – which causes the common cold – to induce an immune response.

It is the same technology the company used to make an experimental Ebola vaccine for people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2019. 

Regulators will now need time to analyze the data and an advisory committee will need to meet. 

Because the vaccine is just one dose, it could help bring President Joe Biden closer to his goal of 150 million shots in arms in the first 100 days of his term.  

So far, more than 62 million doses have been delivered and at least 43.2 million people have received at least one shot (above)

The US has an agreement to buy 100 million doses of J&J’s vaccine for $1 billion, and the option of purchasing an additional 200 million doses.

This prices the vaccine at around $10 per dose, but the New-Jersey drugmaker has pledged not to price its inoculations for profit. 

Gorsky told CNBC that the company’s has ramped up manufacturing capabilities and said he is ‘extremely confident’ J&J will be able to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June.

‘We will meet our commitments and at the same time we’re doing everything we possibly can to safely and effectively accelerate’ production, he said.  

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