DETROIT (February 26, 2021) – Today’s recommendation by an FDA panel to approve Emergency Use Authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine could increase available shots in Michigan by as much as 50%. That was the message during a media briefing today from Usamah (Sam) Mossallam, M.D., MBA, emergency medicine physician and Vice President and Medical Director of International Initiatives at Henry Ford Health System.
According to Dr. Mossallam, the State of Michigan could initially receive as many as 83,000 doses of the one-shot J & J vaccine per week, and even more if Johnson & Johnson meets its goal of providing up to 20 million doses nationwide by April. Pfizer and Moderna have also promised to increase the amount of available vaccine by a combined 90 million doses by April 1.
“Between these three vaccines, that would mean that we could vaccinate an additional 90 million people nationwide, which is nearly twice as many people as have been vaccinated to date since the first vaccines became available in December,” said Dr. Mossallam.
Henry Ford was one of the Phase 3 trial sites for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as well as the Moderna vaccine that was approved earlier. Henry Ford is also a Phase 3 trial site for the two-shot regimen of this vaccine and is enrolling volunteers age 60 and older through the Henry Ford website.
“It is exciting that we are on the verge of having three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines available and accelerate our efforts to control this pandemic,” said Paul Kilgore, M.D., MPH, one of the co-principal investigators of the J & J trial at Henry Ford and an Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Pharmacy at Wayne State University.
“This vaccine is not only highly effective against severe disease in the United States but was also highly effective against the highly transmissible South African variant that is now showing up in the United States,” said Dr. Kilgore. “It is 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, and is also equally effective across all races, including Whites, African Americans and Hispanics.” A large percentage of volunteers for the J &J study at Henry Ford were people of color.
Dr. Kilgore cautioned people who still need to be vaccinated not to “shop” for what they may consider the “best” vaccine.
“The best vaccine for anyone to take is the first one that is available to them,” said Dr. Kilgore. “They all prevent severe disease, hospitalizations, and death – and that is the key to controlling this pandemic.”
Other highlights of today’s briefing include:
About Henry Ford Health System
- To date, Henry Ford had administered more than 122,000 doses of vaccine and fully vaccinated approximately 56,000 people
- More than one in 20 vaccines administered in Michigan have been given by Henry Ford Health System
- Henry Ford expects to receive more than 7,300 first doses and approximately 6,400 second doses combined of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine next week
- Statewide, approximately 160,000 first doses are expected to be distributed in the coming week across city and county health departments and healthcare providers receiving vaccine
- This does not include allocations to commercial pharmacies and other federally funded and supplied vaccination programs
- Henry Ford has the capacity to deliver more than 25,000 shots each week – about twice the number we are providing right now with the current allocation
- Henry Ford been very active in partnering with health departments and other community organizations to lend out resources in helping them administer vaccine to minority and underserved populations
- Among these are the Senior Saturday’s program at Second Ebenezer Church that, in partnership with the City of Detroit, will vaccinate 2,000 mostly minority members of our community
- Henry Ford also assisted in vaccinating essential workers in the City of Detroit, and more than 1,000 Border Patrol Agents and others with the Department of Homeland Security
- Recently, through a grant from the State of Michigan, Cares Act Funding and a grant from Johnson and Johnson, and working through Henry Ford’s Global Health Initiative, Henry Ford has been able to acquire five specially equipped mobile vaccination vans, designed with the help of FORDX,- Ford Motor Company’s innovation arm
- These vans are being used to bring vaccine directly to trusted places in the community to provide vaccinations to underserved, vulnerable populations who often do not have the means to travel to centralized mass vaccination centers
Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health system committed to improving people’s lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System includes Henry Ford Medical Group, with more than 1,900 physicians and researchers practicing in more than 50 specialties at locations throughout Southeast and Central Michigan. Acute care hospitals include Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI and Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, MI – both Magnet® hospitals; Henry Ford Macomb Hospital; Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.
The largest of these is Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, a quaternary care research and teaching hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center recognized for clinical excellence in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, and multi-organ transplants. The health system also provides comprehensive, best-in-class care for cancer at the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, and orthopedics and sports medicine at the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine – both in Detroit.
As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System annually trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows in more than 50 accredited programs, and has trained nearly 40% of the state’s physicians. Our dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.
Our not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people.
Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians, more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals.
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