The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorization for the third COVID-19 vaccine. This third vaccine is from Johnson & Johnson.
Shipments for the vaccine began on Monday from the facility in Kentucky. “We anticipate a little over 300,000 vaccines to arrive later this week,” said Governor Gavin Newsom in a press conference Monday. More specifically, Riverside County could see the doses later this week or early next week. “We would start seeing it in our public health clinics as well as our provider locations, private providers, within a week after receiving it,” said Brooke Federico, Riverside County public information officer.
The biggest difference with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine compared to Moderna and Pfizer is that it is a single shot. This eliminates the concern or need for a second vaccine appointment. “By having one dose, it does make it logistically easier to manage and distribute to our residents,” said Federico.
This one dose vaccine also does not need to be stored in extremely cold temperatures.
According to Johnson & Johnson, the vaccine was 85% effective in preventing severe illness. This is slightly lower compared to Moderna (94.1%) and Pfizer (95%) effectiveness. “It’s gone through that clinical trial period. It has shown the effectiveness in reducing the severity of the disease and reducing hospitalizations,” said Federico. “Rarely are we so fortunate to have 3 highly effective vaccines available on the market,” added Federico.
County officials urge residents to get whichever vaccine is available to them at the time. “We are seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. Our case numbers have been declining, hospitalizations have been declining as this vaccine is being rolled out,” said Federico.
Tune in to KESQ News Channel 3 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a live report.