HONOLULU (KHON2) — The first shipments of Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine are underway. Hawaii is expected to receive its first doses this week. Lt. Gov. Josh Green tells us we should be getting about 300,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson between now and June 30, and shipments should be coming in weekly.
Hawaii is expecting nearly 12,000 doses to come into all four counties this week.
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“Johnson and Johnson will come into big batches the first week, then there’ll be a slight lull as they ramp up their production,” said Green.
So who will be getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine? That still needs to be worked out.
“Department of Health in Hawaii, like state Departments of Health nationwide, is waiting for the National guidance, which will start with the guidance from the ACIP which is meeting this evening. And then we will be interpreting and applying that guidance locally,” said Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman.
The vaccine provides less protection, about 66% to 72% according to the Lieutenant Governor. He thinks the shot would be good for younger people at less risk overall.
“It’s a very good vaccine for people under 50,” said Green. “It probably be good enough for people who are older also, but I could see it being used that way.”
Just because the vaccine is coming this week, doesn’t mean it goes straight into arms just yet. Dr. Berreman explains procedures and written documents also need to be put in place, which doesn’t happen overnight.
“So I don’t think it’ll take longer than a couple of weeks,” she said. “But we shouldn’t expect that we’re going to be getting Johnson and Johnson vaccine into arms tomorrow or the next day. It’s going to take longer than that.”
This particular vaccine only requires one shot. Plus, it does not have to be kept in ultra cold storage.
“It’s a big improvement on what we’ve had as far as capacity goes,” said Green. “s. So it’s a lot less logistically difficult. It’s also easier to get out to very faraway places.”
Our very first shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is expected to arrive within the next few days.