MarkeTouch COVID-19 Clinical and Operations Pharmacy Newsletter (February 11)

by Marketouch BACK TO BLOG.

How Does the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Work?

While each of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines target the spike protein found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, manufactured by Janssen, uses a completely different technology.  The Janssen vaccine is what’s called an adenovirus-vectored vaccine.  The adenovirus acts as a sort of Trojan horse to deliver SARS-CoV-2 protein to the immune system. It cannot replicate or cause disease.

Once injected, the adenovirus goes inside your cells and releases that SARS sequence. Your body then converts it into the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, minus the disease-causing virus. Then, your immune system learns to recognize the spike protein. Allowing your immune system to provide a faster, stronger defense next time it encounters the COVID-19 causing virus.

Vaccine Updates

Johnson & Johnson – the FDA set February 24th as the date, for the committee to review the Janssen, single dose, COVID-19 vaccine.  They are expected to make a decision about an emergency use authorization (EUA) shortly after the meeting.

Pfizer – on February 7th, Pfizer shared that it has doubled its output in the last month and will soon be able to cut the time it takes to produce a batch of vaccines from 110 days to 60 days on average. 

AstraZeneca –  expects to have a modified version of its COVID-19 vaccine that will be effective against the South Africa variant by fall. AstraZeneca stated that the modified version would require less time and less clinical testing than the original.

Moderna – is asking U.S. regulators to allow it to increase the amount of coronavirus vaccine put into each vial by as much as 50%, which they state can accelerate patient vaccine access.  An FDA decision could take several weeks.

Vaccinated Mothers May Pass on SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies to Newborns

Pregnant women are of the designated high-risk groups requiring special protection from COVID-19.  Researchers have been trying to determine if vaccinating pregnant women would produce protective antibodies that are capable of crossing the placenta reaching the fetus or newborn. A newly released study describes the first case of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected in the cord blood of an infant born to a mother immunized with the first dose of the Moderna vaccine three weeks earlier. Data shows that detectable levels of IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus were found in the cord blood sample. While further research is needed, protection for babies of vaccinated moms may be possible.

Ford Designs Clear Mask to Aid Hearing-Impaired

Ford has developed, designed and is preparing to market a patent-pending, clear respirator in the hopes of benefitting those with hearing impairments. What makes the respirator mask unique is that it is transparent, low-cost and reusable.  The goal is to permit people to communicate better by seeing the full range of human expression.  For individuals with a hearing impairment, the clear mask would allow them to improve lip reading ability currently hidden by currently available personal protective equipment. Ford expects the respirator to certify to N95 standards of virus protection. Effectiveness testing is currently ongoing.  Ford is hoping to make the product available later this spring.

Do You Have a Solution in Place, Capable of Handling Massive COVID-19 Immunization Requests?

Enter MarkeTouch’s Health and Wellness Scheduler.  Currently managing millions of COVID-19 vaccine appointment inquires daily, the Health and Wellness Scheduler has been enhanced to allow pharmacies the ability to customize appointment availability.  It also offers customizable mobile-optimized vaccine consent forms either as a stand alone service or incorporated into the patient appointment scheduling process.

Contact MarkeTouch today to learn more about adding the convenience of appointment scheduling to your COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

Read more Blog Posts