WEDNESDAY, June 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — U.S. federal and state health officials are trying to administer as many doses as possible of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as millions of unused shots are set to expire this month.
One reason for the large cache of unused doses is the temporary pause in use of the vaccine in April due to concerns about a rare, severe type of blood clot, The Washington Post reported.
Research into extending the shelf life of the one-dose vaccine is ongoing, according to a Johnson & Johnson official, The Post reported. Currently, it can be refrigerated for three months. Federal health officials are also trying to find ways to extend the life of the doses and are encouraging governors to consult with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about proper storage, White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt said at a news conference Tuesday, The Post reported.
However, Slavitt conceded that some of the hundreds of millions of doses that have been distributed in the United States will go unused. “There is a very, very small fraction of doses that have been sent out to states that will ultimately not be used,” he said.
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