Florida’s vaccination effort is getting another boost with Johnson & Johnson's single-dose coronavirus vaccine. They expect to deliver the doses this week.
Four million doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine are currently being shipped across the country.
“We don’t exactly how much but tentatively the numbers that we’re looking at for Johnson & Johnson shipment to Florida this week is 175,000 doses,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.
It's the only COVID-19 vaccine out of the three that comes in a single dose. It also does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures.
Dr. David Berger said this could mean more people could get vaccinated in a shorter period of time.
“Not all people coming back for the second vaccine, even though they’re scheduled not everybody does shows up. Of course, we’re now hearing questions about is the four weeks too soon,” said Dr. David Berger, a board-certified pediatrician at Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care.
In US trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is considered 72% effective. The other two vaccines are both near 95% effective.
“They’ve all shown a drastic almost complete reduction of hospitalizations and death,” Dr. Berger said.
However, he says he is concerned the lower efficacy means there’s a chance vaccinated people can still spread the virus.
“If there’s a 20 percent difference in terms of effectiveness then that also means that there’s a 20% more people who may be mildly or asymptomatic who had the vaccine who may still be passing to other people in their community,” said Dr. Berger.
Dr. Berger recommends people inform themselves on the possible benefits and risks of taking a COVID-19 vaccine, but ultimately the choice to take a vaccine is in the hands of the individual making the decision.
Now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has proven to be safe and effective in people 18 and older, the company will begin studies with children.