What the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine could do for the Tri-State

vaccine shot
Posted at 11:02 PM, Feb 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 23:17:34-05

The FDA gave an emergency use authorization of a one-shot coronavirus vaccine by Johnson & Johnson on Saturday, marking the third coronavirus shot allowed to be administered to Americans.

Johnson and Johnson said that it expects to have 4 million doses of the vaccine ready for shipment this week.

As doses across the Tri-State remain scarce, the newest vaccine approved could go out statewide as early as Monday, and local experts said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be a game-changer.

"Every dose of this vaccine that goes into one of our citizens goes to 12%, 13%, 14%...getting closer to that percent where the virus really has fewer people to go to and then we are really able to be back to normal," said Dr. Stephen Feagins, medical director for Hamilton County Public Health.

Feagins said a third vaccine will give more people the chance to get vaccinated sooner.

"We in Ohio expect, in the next few weeks, some 70,000 to 80,000 doses of the J&J vaccine and we don't want to waste any time getting it to use," he said.

An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control will meet on Sunday to make public health recommendations for the third vaccine's use. Local health officials are already considering the next steps.

"We're still thinking about how we will use it," said Feagins. "Will it be used for hospitalized patients? Would it be used for those being discharged from the hospital to a long term care? Or will it be distributed to pharmacies?"

As more and more people in the Tri-State region get COVID-19 vaccines, there's a stark warning not to let up on current practices that prevent the spread of the virus.

"We may be done with the virus, but the virus is not done with us," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. "We cannot get comfortable or give into a false sense of security that the worst of the pandemic is behind us."

On Monday, nearly four million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be shipped. This vaccine only requires a single shot, unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and it only requires regular refrigeration instead of freezers.