Opioid Settlement Payments to Virginians Begin

Most Virginia localities were expected Friday to start receiving their share of the first payment in an opioid settlement, about $4.1 million split across the 133 localities. Additionally, Virginia’s Opioid Abatement Authority (OAA) will receive about $9.9 million, Attorney General Jason Miyares announced.

“I’m thrilled to announce that after a long period of waiting, the payments to Virginia’s Opioid Abatement Authority and to Virginia’s localities under this landmark settlement are on the way. Now, Virginia communities will be able to take actionable steps to fight back against the opioid epidemic, knowing that more help is on the way,” Miyares said in a press release.

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Virginia Expects About $530 Million in Opioid Crisis Settlement from Drug Distributors and Johnson & Johnson

Virginia expects about $530 million in a settlement over the opioid crisis with Johnson & Johnson along with pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, according to a press release from the Office of the Attorney General. The companies announced Friday that there is enough participation by states, territories, and localities who were suing the drug companies to move forward with a national settlement, first announced in July 2021.

In his release, Attorney General Jason Miyares said, “The opioid crisis has devastated many Virginia communities, families, and lives. The Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to this fight and is proud to have played a role in this historic settlement, which every city and county in Virginia joined. Because of this, the Commonwealth expects to receive approximately $530 million dollars to fight back against the opioid epidemic and support efforts to reduce, prevent and treat opioid addiction.”

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Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 72 Percent Effective, But Offers Weaker Protection Against New Strains

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that its coronavirus vaccine was 72% effective in combating COVID-19, but only 57% effective against a novel South African strain.

While slightly less effective than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, which were both approved by the FDA in December, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines provides significant distribution advantages that could be crucial in the nation’s fight against the virus. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, Pfizer’s vaccine is just one shot, and can be stored in refrigerators instead of freezers.

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