Around the Globe: Covid-19 Update

Johnson & Johnson vaccine resumes with cautionary use after a temporary pause and resources to support India
By Kelsey Marasigan, STAFF WRITER
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the use of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to resume in the U.S. on April 23 after being temporarily paused.

The J&J/Janssen vaccine was first canceled after reports of thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a syndrome that can cause thrombosis in the body which causes blood clots, came up after the use of this vaccine. The CDC stated, “nearly all reports of this serious condition [thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS)], which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.”

While the vaccine is still readily available, the CDC made it known that there are other vaccine options for women under the age of 50.

California has administered over 32 million doses as of May 7. Over 13 million people are fully vaccinated since they were first rolled out at the beginning of the year, making up more than 32% of the state’s population fully vaccinated. Over 50% of those fully vaccinated in California reside in Los Angeles County, which is promising after the county’s Covid-19 surge during the winter months.

President Biden predicts the U.S. will be back to normalcy by the end of summer, “I think by the end of the summer, we’ll be in a very different position than we are now,” he said in an address to the press on May 3. More than 40% of adults in the U.S. are now fully vaccinated.

However, new strains of SARS-CoV-2 are appearing in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, such as India. A record-breaking 400,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in India on May 1, and the government has been struggling to contain this second wave of the virus with limited aid.

The FDA’s Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock told Dr. Marc Siegel on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio Report, “With so much virus replication going on in many parts of the world, it’s like a giant petri dish. They’re going to be spitting up variants all the time because there’s so much virus replication.”

The Biden administration is under immense pressure to lift exporting restrictions put on India in order for Indian scientists to receive what they need to expand vaccine production. These exporting sanctions were put in place by the Trump administration, but Biden has yet to take action to remove them.

Biden announced on April 25 that the U.S. will now send shipments via plane with vaccines, oxygen machines, and more to stricken countries after pressure from international communities to take action.

Without the necessary aid, India’s Covid-19 surge will continue to increase, killing millions of lives and becoming a race against vaccinations and virus mutations.

Here are a few organizations that are working to bring aid to India:

Direct Relief is working to provide medical supplies across India. You can donate here.
Oxygen for India is an organization focused on ensuring indian hospitals have enough oxygen tanks to provide for patients. You can donate here.
Project HOPE is a global organization focusing on providing medical supplies and educating how to stop the spread of Covid-19. You can donate here.
Association for India’s Development is working to provide the necessary PPE for frontline workers needed to fight Covid-19. You can donate here.
The American India Foundation is another organization supporting frontline workers with PPE and supplies. You can donate here.
The Indian Red Cross Society is providing medical resources such as ventilators, oxygen tanks, and monitors to hospitals around India, while also helping to administer vaccines. You can donate here.