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How soon Riverside County could receive its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

"We anticipate receiving 380,300 doses of the J & J vaccine next week and predictably over the next 3 weeks."

On Friday Gov. Gavin Newsom gave Californians a first glimpse of the timeline for when the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could become available.

Just one day later the Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization for the Johnson & Johnson single shot vaccine, making it the third vaccine approved to combat COVID-19.

A release by the FDA stated: The FDA has determined that the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria for issuance of an EUA. The totality of the available data provides clear evidence that the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19. The data also show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks, supporting the company’s request for the vaccine’s use in people 18 years of age and older. In making this determination, the FDA can assure the public and medical community that it has conducted a thorough evaluation of the available safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality information.

Resulting from a global Phase 3 trial, Johnson & Johnson said that the vaccine "was 66% effective overall in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, 28 days after vaccination."

The vaccine was 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 infection in the US, according to the company.

"Two weeks from now I think you'll see a big difference in the way we look and the work that we're doing in our mobile clinics and when we add Johnson & Johnson to that," said Riverside County Department of Public Health spokesperson, Jose Arballo.

Arballo said they are still waiting on confirmation for when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipment would come to Riverside County, but it could be as soon as next week.

Nearly 1,000 people showed up to the Indio Fairgrounds on Sunday to get vaccinated. Until now, the only options available have been Moderna and Pfizer.

"It’s always great to get new sources of vaccine and this one, again, since it’s a single dose, it might be a little simpler to provide and less work for the consumer," said Arballo.

Officials expect a bit of a smoother process considering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doesn't require ultra low temperatures like the Pfizer vaccine does.

"I think in the long run that particular product will be a lot easier and more easy to provide in our hard to reach locations," said Arballo.

Johnson & Johnson also said its vaccine provides 100 percent protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and deaths 28 days after getting the shot.

"That’s the most important thing," said Palm Desert resident, Philip Nichols.

Nichols got his second Pfizer shot on Sunday, but said he would have been open to taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for convenience considering it was a single shot.

"We felt like the efficacy of the Pfizer was the one we preferred to get and so we were able to get that one so that worked out well," said Palm Desert resident, John Lukes.

"I think it’s important just as soon as you have a chance to get one, just get it," said La Quinta resident, Lynn Holm.

Meanwhile Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser advised residents to take whatever vaccine became available.

“Rarely are we so fortunate as to have three excellent candidates,” said Dr. Kaiser. “The only reason we’re even talking about Johnson and Johnson’s efficacy is that the others have been so good. If the J&J vaccine had come out first, it would have been a slam dunk to go get it.”

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Shelby Nelson


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