Johnson & Johnson vaccine expected in Nevada County next week
Following the addition of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. vaccine rollout — joining two-dose vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna — local health officials have encouraged residents to take whichever of the three first becomes available to them.
In a Q&A Wednesday, Nevada County Health and Human Services Director Ryan Gruver said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was “extremely effective” for a single-dose vaccine.
“We’re echoing what we’re starting to hear everywhere, that people should take whatever vaccine they have access to,” said Gruver. “All the vaccines are effective and … this one has a much lower logistical hurdle for us to get through in order to vaccinate large swaths of the community.”
Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “useful, because it’s one shot and simple refrigeration,” factors which make distribution of the vaccine accessible to more providers.
On the implications the addition of this vaccine could have on the county’s vaccine rollout, Gruver said that in addition to provider accessibility, there are indications that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not require the 15-minute monitoring period currently observed with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
“If that’s faster, that theoretically lends itself to more higher-throughput events, potentially drive-thrus that are hard to do if you have to monitor people for reactions,” said Gruver.
According to Kellermann, however, it was uncertain as of Wednesday to what extent the post-vaccination monitoring period will be required for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
According to a county release Thursday, just over 400 first dose appointments at Public Health’s Whispering Pines clinic will be made available to eligible Nevada County residents through MyTurn today at noon.
In YubaNet’s weekly Vaccinate Nevada County webinar on Thursday, Nevada County Director of Public Health Jill Blake said a total of 5,240 vaccine doses have been allocated to be received by the local health jurisdiction next week, the “largest weekly allocation we’ve received to date.”
“We got our first allocation this week, so it doesn’t exist anywhere in the county yet,” said Blake, on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine specifically. “Some should be arriving next week.”
As of Thursday, according to the state COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, 25,865 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Nevada County residents.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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