Thousands of doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine headed to Oklahoma after Emergency Use Authorization by FDA

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the third vaccination option with Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is on its way to Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s deputy commissioner of health, Keith Reed, told News 4 on Monday that 31,500 doses are expected to arrive in Oklahoma this week.

“So what we’ve been told is we’ll get this initial shipment, next week we may not get a separate shipment of Janssen because they’re going to deplete their inventory, what they have produced at this point, send it out and then ramp up the inventory,” said Reed.

Reed said some of the doses are expected to be used immediately upon their arrival.

“I anticipate some of it will start going into arms by the end of this week,” said Reed.

A portion of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, also referred to as the Janssen vaccine, will be aimed at the homebound, prisoners and the homeless population.

“We’re also going to take advantage of the fact that it offers a single dose and we will use it in getting to some of our populations that have a lot of difficulty maybe coming out for multiple doses or require an intensive amount of resources to get second doses to them,” said Reed.

Reed said there are plans in the works for how the vaccine will be administered.

“Some of these special clinics may be specifically for this Janssen vaccine. In some other areas it may be a combination of Janssen is available or Moderna or Pfizer is available,” said Reed. “We really, at this point, don’t have the luxury of volume to where we can kind of set up and you come in and you pick which one you want.”

Reed continued, telling News 4 that the newest vaccine is 85% effective when it comes to fighting severe cases of COVID-19.

“85% is excellent, plus, none of the participants in this study were hospitalized or died from covid,” said Reed.

Plus, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a proved ability to fight COVID-19 variants.

“So this was studied when there was a number of variants that were out there and those effectiveness were in consideration of those variants,” said Reed. “So yes, it has shown to be effective against those variants as well.”

Overall, Reed said he encourages Oklahomans to get vaccinated with any of the three vaccine options they are offered.

“We just want to encourage everybody to get vaccinated, regardless of the vaccine that is available to you,” said Reed. “Take advantage of the opportunity. Take advantage of the vaccine that is available where you go. Get vaccinated. Let’s all do this together and let’s get this pandemic behind us.”

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