First Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses set to be shipped to Ohio this week


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ninety thousand doses of the approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are set to arrive in Ohio this week, with more coming in the following weeks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use Saturday, making it the third vaccine available in the United States and the first that only takes one dose to protect against the coronavirus.

“It’s a very exciting time,” said Mt. Carmel Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mark Hebert. “I know people are concerned about not getting the vaccine and this is going to increase access for many people.”

Herbert said he’s received a lot of questions about the efficacy of the one-dose J&J vaccine, as compared to the two doses required for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

“The other available vaccines prevent disease 95 percent of the time,” he said. “The Johnson and Johnson prevents disease somewhere between 65 to 75 percent of the time.”

Regardless of where the percentages stand, Herbert recommends those who are eligible take whichever vaccine they are offered.

“I wouldn’t pass up on one vaccine opportunity to try to choose a different one because sometimes when you wait, you lose the opportunity,” he said.

One of the perks of the J&J vaccine is that it has been studied in countries where there are more variants, which is something Ohio is on high alert for.

“Whereas the other vaccines haven’t been studied with the other various strains in other countries,” Herbert said.

According to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, the state wants to target the most, if not all, of those Ohioans 65 years old and up with the next round of vaccines.

“We hope March will be the month of victory and then we can move into other groups,” Husted said.

Herbert said those who receive the new vaccine may have side effect similar to the other two vaccines, such as a headache or soreness at the vaccination site.

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