Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a 'big deal' for Oklahoma; 30,000 doses could arrive next week, officials say
Approval of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine would be a “big deal” for Oklahoma, the state’s deputy health commissioner said Thursday.
The single-dose vaccine is nearing a green light from the Food and Drug Administration, which would make it the third COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized in the U.S. It has been shown to be about 85% effective in preventing the most severe cases of COVID-19.
If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized, Oklahoma could receive 30,000 doses of it next week, the state's deputy commissioner of health Keith Reed estimated at a briefing with reporters Thursday.
That would be on top of already expected increases for the state’s vaccine supply: Reed said 145,000 doses are expected next week, and 156,000 doses are expected the week after that, not including estimates for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers some logistical advantages because it requires only one shot — rather than the two-shot doses currently available in the U.S. from Pfizer and Moderna — and doesn’t need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures.
“Johnson & Johnson is a big deal coming on board,” Reed said. “In fact, any new manufacturer coming on board would be a big deal because it adds to our options. It adds to our inventory. This one is logistically much easier to handle.”
State health officials urged people not to get too caught up in differences between efficacy rates between the different vaccines, because they are all effective in preventing COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.
The best vaccine choice, they said, is the one you can get the soonest.