Afternoon Coffee: Johnson & Johnson gets green light for COVID-19 vaccine; Restaurant industry looks at new packaging; eWorld procurement event takes place this week

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The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light for Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for adults as the federal government prepares to ship out millions of doses this week, according to CNBC.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s decision came after an advisory panel to the CDC voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine. The J&J shot was the third vaccine to receive emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration when it approved the vaccine on Saturday.

J&J’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Richard Nettles, told lawmakers that the company is ready to ship nearly 4 million doses as soon as it receives emergency use authorization. The company expects to be able to provide 20 million doses by the end of the month, CNBC said. The introduction of this third vaccine could be a boost to the US supply of vaccine — especially helpful is that J&J’s vaccine is only one dose and doesn’t need ultracold freezers.

“Today marks an encouraging step toward an end to the #COVID19 pandemic,” Walensky wrote on Twitter, CNBC said. “I have now signed CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that endorsed the safety and effectiveness of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 & up.”

Covid pandemic helps restaurants rethink to-go packaging

The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid disruption. As consumers increasingly rely on takeout, it has pressured the supply chain for takeout containers and driven manufacturers to innovate a new food packaging world, according to Supply Chain Dive.

The National Restaurant Association said that nearly half of full-service restaurants introduced delivery in 2020 and more than half added curbside pickup, creating a need for new specific types of food packaging. Compartmentalized boxes are especially in demand, the article reported. Some restaurants are asking for packaging with branding as well.

And although takeout and delivery are spiking, the restaurant industry is still hurting, the article said.

"Even though there has been a large shift for restaurants to move to curbside, take-out and delivery options, there is actually less foodservice packaging being used now than before the pandemic," Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, told Supply Chain Dive. "Many food establishments closed temporarily, or they remain closed, and that loss in product use hasn’t been offset by the shift to take-out channels."

eWorld procurement event to take place virtually this Thursday

One of the biggest events in procurement, eWorld, is set to take place virtually Thursday.

This twice-a-year event attracts procurement practitioners, solution providers, heads of supply chain, heads of finance, academia and third sector organizations from all industries worldwide. While eWorld seems to have been expanding in attendee numbers and diversity of topics over recent years, this year will see it explode as more and more people from all over the globe can access it online for no fee.

You’ll see from the agenda that there is an abundance of topics to choose from. All are run by people rich in experience who are ready to share their insights and personal take on the great issues of our industry today. To learn more and register for this free event, visit the eWorld website.

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