Detroit Mayor rejects first cargo of J&J vaccines, saying Pfizer and Moderna are “the very best.”

Vial of the Janssen Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine from Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson via Reuters

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan declined an initial allocation of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 single vaccine, citing sufficient supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to meet the demand of eligible residents.

“Johnson and Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best. And I’ll do everything I can to make sure the Detroit city residents get the best,” Duggan said at a news conference Thursday.

The FDA on Saturday approved J & J’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. This makes it the third vaccine approved for distribution in the United States and the only vaccine that requires only one dose

Clinical trial data shows that J & J’s vaccine provides 66% overall protection against Covid, compared to around 95% for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. While some have raised concerns about the J&J vaccine’s lower rate of effectiveness, the J&J vaccine has been shown to prevent 100% of virus-related hospitalizations and deaths, according to clinical trial data.

“All vaccines are safe and effective, and I recommend that all vaccines be offered in all communities,” said Dr. Michigan chief medical executive Joneigh Khaldun in a statement to CNBC.

“Also, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been studied in a more recent period of time with more easily transmissible variants, so I would not recommend comparing the Pfizer and Moderna studies directly with the Johnson and Johnson studies,” Khaldun said.

At a news conference on Friday, Andy Slavitt, Senior White House Covid Advisor, said Duggan’s comments on the J&J vaccine had been misunderstood.

“We have had a constant dialogue with Mayor Duggan … He is very excited about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And I think we would repeat the message that the very first vaccine we can take makes perfect sense for all of us . “Said Slavitt.

Duggan said Thursday the city received 29,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines this week.

“Any eligible Detroit citizen can call today, make an appointment, and receive a Moderna / Pfizer vaccine at the TCF center next week,” Duggan said in a statement to Detroit City Council on Friday. “As the vaccine suitability increases, Detroit will open a second location selling Johnson & Johnson vaccines. I am confident that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be both safe and effective.”

Duggan said the city plans to market the J&J vaccine as a “key element” in expanding vaccine centers.

“The day can come in March or April when every single Moderna and Pfizer (shot) is being celebrated and we still have people in need of a vaccine, and at that point we’re going to set up a Johnson and Johnson center. I see not that in the next few weeks, “said Duggans on Thursday.

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