New COVID-19 Vaccine Studied by Stanford Doctors Offers New Hope

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A new vaccine being reviewed at Stanford may soon get FDA approval, hoping to aid the slow vaccine rollout problem.

In California, where Americans 65 and older can sign up for a vaccine, 70-year-old Mark Smith has tried repeatedly, but with no luck.

"I've tried every single day sometimes on the hour on all of the different sites and a 65-year-old can not get an appointment,” he said.

Bay Area counties say they need more vaccines, but California and other states report they're not getting the doses the federal government promised.

The CDC says 41 million doses have been distributed to states so far and close to 22 million doses have been administered with states holding back doses for the required second dose. However, just 3 million people have received both doses, but there could be a solution on the horizon.

“The biggest advantage is that it adds dramatically to the supply,” said Stanford Doctor Philip Grant. 

A Johnson & Johnson vaccine is in a clinical trial at Stanford Medical Center and Grant is heading it up.

“The study we’re doing is a single dose, it also doesn’t require any unusual storage conditions, doesn’t need any deep freezing- it’s easier to ship, easier to produce,” he said.

Johnson & Johnson says if the vaccine receives emergency approval,  the rollout could begin in March with 100 million doses available by April.

Adding to that, the single shot AstraZeneca vaccine is believed to be just two weeks behind Johnson & Johnson, meaning there could be four vaccines by next month.

President Joe Biden Monday reiterated he’s aiming for up to 1.5 million shots per day by May.

"I feel confident that by summer, we'll be well on our way to heading toward herd immunity,” he said.

Also on Monday, Moderna said its vaccine does provide protection against the new U.K. and South African virus variants -- though not as much against the South African strain.

It's now working on a booster shot to improve protection.

"That's something you could do on top of or in combination with the existing vaccines if it became necessary,” said Moderna President Dr. Stephen Hoge.

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