Don’t expect to see a lot of available Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 in Delaware during March.
Delaware did receive 8,000 doses delivered this week. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “one and done” unlike the two doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Gov. John Carney and Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the state is not expected to see additional doses in March. Moredoses of the J&J vaccine are expected to delivered in the coming months.
J&J and another large pharma company, Merck, have reached a deal to partner on increasing vaccine production.
Two invitation-only J&J vaccination events are slated this weekend in Seaford and at the Delaware City DMV site. Five thousand vaccinations are expected.
Rattay said 228,000 doses have been administered to date. That figure is lower than the actual number, since some of vaccinations from the event at Dover International Speedway have not yet been recorded, Rattay noted.
Still the state faces a catch-up process as those getting their first vaccine doses are now due for their second vaccination.
The advice from Carney and Rattay is to take the vaccine that’s available, despite the differences between the J&J, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The J&J vaccine has a lower effectiveness rate than the twin doses from Pfizer and Moderna. However, all three vaccines prevent serious cases of the virus that can lead hospital stays and even death.
Additional doses of J&J vaccines could lead to more mass vaccination events, since officials would to have to deal with the complexities of scheduling first and second doses.
The public health director acknowledged problems with pharmacies reporting vaccinations at their stores and warned that allocations could be cut if the situation is not resolved.
Rattay and Carney said the state continues to focus on “fast and fair” vaccinations that include minority communities and individuals who have difficulty getting to scheduled events.
The backlog of second vaccinations means that the state has not been able to move forward on Phase 1C, a category that includes younger people and essential workers.
The state did see a number of no shows at the second dose event at Dover International Speedway, an indiction that people received second doses elsewhere, Rattay said.She added that some people may get second dose reminders, even if they have vaccinated, since it takes time to match up records.