- 75% of the US population is on course to be vaccinated by July 22, analysts say.
- But without the J&J vaccine, that date gets pushed back around 2 months, to mid-September.
- The US suspended use of the vaccine on Tuesday while it investigates reports of rare blood clots.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
If the US were to totally stop using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, it would significantly push back its timeline for reaching a key vaccination threshold, analysts say.
According to Airfinity, a UK-based analytics firm, the US is on track to reach 75% coverage in the general population by July 22.
However, the projection is based on using all three approved vaccines. The decision Tuesday to pause its use, citing rare blood clots, means that day will come later.
Per Airfinity figures seen by Insider, if the J&J vaccine is permanently suspended, the earliest the US can hit 75% with just the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is September 17.
The White House has argued that it still has enough doses to vaccinate all US adults — but did not comment on how it might push back the timeline.
In a statement on Tuesday, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said the pause would not have a “significant impact” on the rollout of the vaccine.
“Based on actions taken by the President earlier this year, the United States has secured enough Pfizer and Moderna doses for 300 million Americans,” he said.
“This is more than enough supply to continue the current pace of vaccinations of 3 million shots per day, and meet the President’s goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office,” he said.
FDA and CDC officials are due to review the evidence around the blood clots before deciding how to proceed. While a permanent suspension is possible, officials appear to expect that the use of the vaccine will resume.
Dr. Antony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor said he expects the suspension to last “days to weeks”, rather than “weeks to months”. This would mean the overall delay would be smaller, moving the 75% date closer to July.
According to a “guesstimate” from Fauci in December, 70% to 90% of the population need to be vaccinated to reach the all important “herd immunity,” a threshold above which it is more difficult for the virus to circulate.
An indefinite suspension of the J&J vaccine would also lengthen the EU vaccination campaign, as the 75% threshold would be reached on December 8, rather than September 30 in the EU, according to Airfinity.
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