Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan rejected an initial grant of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine with a single shot, according to the Michigan State Health Department.
In a press release on Thursday, Duggan confirmed that he declined this week's award. of J&J vaccines from the state, citing sufficient supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to meet demand from qualified residents.
"Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best. And I will do everything I can to make sure the people of Detroit get the best," Duggan said in a news release Thursday.
On Saturday, the FDA approved J & J's Covid-1
Data from clinical trials show that J & J's vaccine is 66% effective in protecting against Covid, compared to approx. 95% for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. While some have raised concerns about the lower efficacy rate of the J&J vaccine, the J&J vaccine has been shown to prevent 100% of virus-related hospitalizations and deaths, according to data from clinical trials.
"All vaccines are safe and effective and I recommend that all vaccines be offered in all communities," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief executive, in a statement to CNBC.
"The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was also studied in a more recent time period with more easily transmitted variants, so I would not recommend comparing the studies with Pfizer and Moderna directly with the studies on Johnson and Johnson," said Khaldun.
At a press conference on Friday, White House Senior Andy Slavitt, Andy Slavitt, said Duggan's comments on the J&J vaccine were misunderstood.
"We have been in constant dialogue with Mayor Duggan … He is very keen on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And I think we will repeat the message that for all of us, the very first vaccine we can take is very sensible to ta, "said Slavitt.
In a statement later on Friday, Duggan reiterated the impact of the J&J shot to prevent Covid-related hospitalization and death.
"The only reason we chose not to accept the first shipment of Johnson & Johnson was that we had enough capacity with Moderna and Pfizer to handle the 29,000 first and second dose agreements scheduled for the coming week, which already put us very close to our capacity at our current locations, "Duggan said in a statement Friday.
The J&J award that Duggan rejected included 6,200 doses, which were distributed to other local health departments in Michigan, according to State Department spokesman Bob Wheaton.
Wheaton said the state does not expect to receive more J&J vaccines "for another couple of weeks."
Duggan said the city will open a new vaccination site for J&J shots when demand from qualified residents exceeds its supply of Moderna and Pfizer doses.
"We had always intended to distribute Johnson & Johnson when demand warranted, and we had our distribution plan in place so that we could make it as accessible to citizens as we have Moderna and Pfizer," Duggan said in Friday's statement. "When the next J&J shipment arrives, we will have our plan in place to make it available."