SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Federal officials announced Monday that 3.9 million doses of the newly approved Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine started shipping Sunday, and could arrive in jurisdictions across the U.S. as early as Tuesday.
The governor has said California is expected to receive 380,300 doses this week.
“There are a lot of people that need to be vaccinated so having more choices will help that,” Dr. Rick Nettles, Vice President of Medical Affairs with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, said. “Right now, we think this vaccine is one shot that provides protection against serious disease and all the variants.”
While the single-dose vaccine has proved slightly less effective than Moderna and Pfizer, federal health officials point out the three were never tested side by side.
All are effective against serious disease and death and, in fact, the J&J vaccine has proven effective against the South African variant.
“Even though the vaccine was not specifically directed against those variants it did extremely well against preventing severe critical disease and there were no hospitalizations or deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Getting enough people vaccinated will bring the country to herd immunity with the hope of some return to normal, some communities are already reopening, and federal health officials warned against doing that too fast.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” Rochelle Walensky, M.D., CDC director said.
The head of the CDC says nationwide there has been a slight uptick in cases and deaths.
“At this level of cases with the variants spreading we stand to lose the ground we have made. These variants are a very real threat now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of covid 19 in our communities not when we are so close,” Walensky said.
In California, the governor says the positivity and case rate continue to stabilize and as early as Tuesday we could see as many as seven counties move from the most restrictive purple reopening tier to red.