The Oklahoma State Department of Health is expecting thousands of additional vaccines this week; that's because the FDA's approval of Johnson & Johnson's shot.
The health department said this is big news for two reasons: individual protection and working towards herd immunity.
“We have no doubt that this is a great vaccine. This vaccine is shown to be 85% effective against severe COVID-19,” OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said. “None of the participants among the ones that were in the study had to be hospitalized, there were no deaths in that group.”
Like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson shot is effective against variants of the virus. Reed said it will be added to the state's supply in a matter of days.
“We expect to receive 31,500 doses in the first shipment of the Janssen vaccine. This shipment should arrive sometime later this week. We expect the first doses of the vaccine to be administered shortly thereafter,” Reed said.
As far as where it is going, distribution will focus on hospitals, county health departments, and homebound Oklahomans.
“People with comorbidities in many cases when those patients come in and out of their emergency departments it may be one opportunity to get them vaccinated,” Reed said.
According to the health department, “This is a great opportunity to get the vaccine out there to them and the people they serve, it gives better reach.”
OSDH does not advise people to wait specifically for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and says to get whatever vaccine is available to you.
“We want people to get vaccinated. All three of these vaccines offer great protection against COVID-19 These are the keys for us to get this pandemic behind us and move forward,” Reed said.
The health department expects regular weekly shipments starting in two weeks after they ramp up the production line.