coronavirus vaccine

Could a COVID-19 Vaccine Surplus be Around the Corner?

While supply currently outstrips demand for the COVID vaccine, as more companies race toward FDA approval, an oversupply, or glut, may be in the future.

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You may want the COVID-19 vaccine, but chances are you haven’t been able to get it.

Pretty soon though, there could be an oversupply of the potentially lifesaving shot, something that could change how it’s given out, and perhaps, shorten the amount of time until life returns to some form of normalcy.

Those who monitor and predict trends on Wall Street have been watching the vaccine rollout with interest.

Recently our sister financial network CNBC was talking about a potential oversupply, or “glut,” of COVID-19 vaccines doses in the near future.

“This is the vaccine glut. I think they’re ready with hundreds of millions…the vaccine glut is the story of 2021,” said CNBC Host Jim Cramer.

That sounds contrary to what we have seen so far, where only the most vulnerable are getting the rationed supply of doses available, which has left people like Carolyn Francis of East Hartford anxious.

“I wish I could get the vaccine. Yeah. It would take the edge off of me,” she told NBC Connecticut.

As of February 2, a total of 53 million COVID vaccines have been distributed in the U.S., with about 26 million people receiving one or more doses so far. That could significantly increase soon.

“That would be shocking, I’m hearing we’re having undersupply problems so that would be great…that would be wonderful news,” said Erin Doolittle of Manchester.

In addition to Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, whose vaccines have already received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are at least a half dozen competitors trying to get their vaccines to the U.S., including:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Novavax

And the teams of

  • Sanofi and Translate Bio
  • GlaxoSmithKline and CureVac

So perhaps not now, but not too far down the line a vaccine oversupply, or glut, may lie in our future.

In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci said AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson will each begin the process of applying for an emergency use authorization (EUA) soon.

Johnson & Johnson requested EUA on Thursday.

It’s one reason he said he believes President Joe Biden’s goal of 150 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office is doable.

“At the most a couple of weeks, they’re going to be getting their data together…. We’re weeks away not months away for sure,” Fauci said.

Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, explained if more vaccines are available, states may be able to ramp up plans sooner for mass vaccinations.

“We can really think big, about our strategies to get the vaccine out. There’s a lot of anxiety there’s a lot of stress in the population, ‘When can I get the vaccine?’, and it’s difficult to answer,” said Hannan.

Plus, there has been considerable excitement about the increase in the rate of vaccinations the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could bring, according to Dr. Jason Schwartz, from the Yale School of Public Health and a member of Governor Ned Lamont’s vaccine advisory group.

“The Johnson & Johnson, which is the one dose, one dose vaccine candidate, really would be a game-changer, if we’re thinking about the scale and speed of getting a vaccine administered, it would be so much easier to think about a single-dose vaccine, as we do for flu vaccines, where you’re one and done.”

Schwartz and many others in the medical community have said they believe the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available in the next month or two, though there have been reports of production delays, something the company has downplayed.

With different types of COVID vaccines available, health professionals said they may be able to pick and choose which ones work better with different subsets of the population.

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