One-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Santa Clara County
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Santa Clara County. Photo courtesy of Johnson & Johnson.

After weeks of waiting, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine just arrived in Santa Clara County.

Today, the county received 7,500 doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine, according to public health officials. Additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected to arrive in Santa Clara County on March 23.

The highly-anticipated Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine only requires one dose, rather than the two doses required by Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines. It has been anxiously awaited by local health officials hoping to boost vaccination rates across the county, especially in hardest hit areas, although it’s not immediately clear where the vaccine doses are headed.

County officials said there is not “a designated location” for the vaccine at this time.

There have been 112,000 cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County and 1,823 deaths as of Monday.

As of March 4, 335,333 Santa Clara County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine while 160,820 received both. The county’s goal is to vaccinate 85% of its residents by August.

Due to a low allocation of COVID-19 vaccines from the state last week, new appointments could not be made through the county health system for the week of March 7 through March 13 while the county tried to vaccinate those with appointments scheduled. The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, could help boost those numbers.

Johnson & Johnson was issued an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 27 for individuals age 18 and older. Johnson & Johnson has committed to delivering more than 20 million doses in March and 100 million in the first half of 2021.

This one-shot vaccine was proven to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 infection and 85% effective in protecting against severe cases. Moderna’s vaccine is 94.1% effective and Pfizer’s 95%.

The Moderna vaccine is for individuals age 18 and older and Pfizer’s vaccine is for people 16 and older.

President Joe Biden pledged to have vaccines available for every American, age 16 and older by the end of May 2021. Santa Clara County is vaccinating up to 12,000 people a day at its drop-in sites in East San Jose, Gilroy and other areas hard-hit by the pandemic as well as health centers and mobile clinics for agricultural workers.

On Wednesday, a clinic opened at Aloha Roller Rink at Eastridge Mall in East San Jose. The site will be open seven days a week and offer evening appointments. It hopes to ramp up to 2,000 vaccinations a day, as supplies allow.

“We’re working hard get the vaccine to those who need it most,” County Executive Jeff Smith said in a statement. “Vaccines are the county’s number one priority right now; vaccines will save lives. But our primary challenge continues to be getting the vaccine supply we need to protect those at greatest risk.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that with 10.6 million vaccinations administered, California is globally ranked sixth in vaccinations behind the U.S., China, European Union, United Kingdom and India.

Contact Lorraine Gabbert at [email protected]

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