Richmond and Henrico Develop Plan for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Between an unclear supply of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson Vaccine and patients’ worries about its effectiveness, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are adapting their vaccination plans.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has an 85% efficacy in preventing serious disease from the Coronavirus. That's hospitalization and death. But its efficacy in at preventing infection - 72% - has been compared to the higher-efficacy Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. So some are wondering if they can opt for a different vaccine with slightly higher success rates.
Health officials with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts say the best way to stay safe is to get whatever vaccine is available first. And the first big shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccine is ready, arriving in Richmond on Thursday. In a Thursday press call the health districts organized, Amy Popovich said the the way the health districts are processing the one time doses of Johnson & Johnson is through a mass vaccination event beginning Saturday.
The three-day event will dedicate Monday to the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, and Saturday and Wednesday to both Moderna and Pfizer. The health district says this will allow people to opt out more easily, and gauge the community’s reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before using it for any specific population. It also allows the health district to distribute the vaccines quickly given the lag in deliveries.
"We are a little bit unsure about Johnson & Johnson doses in the future," said Popovich. "We have had a pretty consistent Pfizer and Moderna and we anticipate that consistency for the next couple of weeks."
The Department of Health says Virginia has used 90% of its first doses and 750,000 Virginians are fully vaccinated.