Detroit Mayor Declines New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Doses Because It Isn’t ‘The Best’

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Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Democratic Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan declined an allotment of Johnson & Johnson’s new single-dose coronavirus vaccine because, according to him, it isn’t “the best” vaccine available.

“So, Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best. And I am going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of the City of Detroit get the best,” Duggan said at a news conference Thursday, according to CNN. The mayor said he would add a Johnson & Johnson vaccine center if it was needed to meet demand, but he doesn’t see that happening in the next couple of weeks.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found in FDA clinical trials to be up to 85% effective at preventing severe/critical COVID-19 cases. Two-dose vaccine regimens from Pfizer and Moderna are slightly more effective, at about 95%, but in addition to the extra dose they also require storage at colder temperatures. (RELATED: The CDC Says COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, But That Isn’t The Whole Story)

Four million doses of the new vaccine were shipped out to states after its initial emergency approval by the FDA, and the Biden administration struck a deal Monday to increase production with the help of pharmaceutical giant Merck. Johnson & Johnson are contracted to supply 100 million doses of their shot by the end of June.

The City of Detroit has had nearly 2,000 COVID-19 deaths so far during the pandemic. The fatality rate in the city is 6.1%, more than double the Michigan statewide rate of 2.6%. The 6,200 Johnson & Johnson doses allocated for the city were instead distributed to other locations with lower coverage rates, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.