Four-states residents seeking out Johnson and Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. – Over the last several months, we’ve had vaccine shortages and tiered phases that dictate who is eligible to get a vaccine. Now, local health officials are seeing something new.

“We have had numerous calls wondering if we were going to have the Johnson and Johnson,” says Crawford County Health Department Director Teddi Van Kam.

Several residents are specifically seeking out the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine. And it’s not just in Crawford County.

“We got some, we didn’t get some. We had a wait list for it because people were refusing the Moderna vaccine,” explains Wilson County Health Department Director Destany Wheeler. “I really thought people would look at the efficacy and not want the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. So they’re opposite of what I thought.”

“We got three hundred doses and we advertised on our Facebook page, and we filled that clinic within a few hours,” says Larry Bergner, Director of the Newton County, Missouri Health Department. “I was surprised that there was that much of a response. I like the fact that if you take a Moderna or a Pfizer, and for some reason you can’t get back for that second dose, you can actually substitute a Johnson and Johnson for a second dose for either Pfizer or Moderna. So I would like to get some Johnson and Johnson to keep on hand just for those folks who can’t make it to that second dose.”

The Crawford County Health Department held a walk-in clinic on Thursday, specifically to offer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Most people who got the shot at the clinic say they wanted the J and J because it is only one dose.

“It’s simple, quick and it’s effective and I’m trying to do my part to slow the spread,” says Pittsburg resident Dallas Partridge.

“We’ve seen Johnson and Johnson is equally effective at preventing death and hospitalization, and you only need one shot,” explains Joplin resident Evan Wilson.

“It’s nice that I get it over in one shot. But I was willing to do whatever,” Pittsburg resident Kathy Seitz.

“We’ve had a couple people comment on that, saying they were really happy… they were waiting. They were waiting to have the one dose available to them,” says Van Kam. “I think the other vaccines that are two doses are better probably, for especially people 65 and over or people who have a lot of underlying conditions. But, for people who are young and healthy, and just really don’t like the idea of having to take two shots, then I think this is a nice option for them.”

The Crawford County Health Department only received 100 doses of the J and J vaccine, and the other providers we spoke to say it’s pretty tough to get it right now. So, they recommend not waiting for the brand since both Moderna and Pfizer have proven to be safe and effective, and are widely available.

“If we’re not using the vaccine that is supplied to us, there is a chance that our allotment will get cut back,” explains Wheeler. “CDC and KDHE are saying the best vaccine that you can get is the first one that’s offered to you.”

The Crawford County Health Department administered 55 doses of J and J vaccine at the clinic on Thursday.

You can learn more about the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/janssen.html

If you ware looking for a vaccine provider near you, or even for a specific vaccine, you can do so on the CDC’s vaccinefinder.org.

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