North Carolinians could get the new single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Wake County Public Health will receive 5,200 doses and the delivery could arrive as early as the week of March 1. The state health department gave county officials the news over the weekend.
The J&J vaccine was cleared for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, making it the third vaccine available to the public, along with the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The J&J vaccine works with one shot instead of two and can be stored for three months at normal temperatures, which will help speed up vaccinations, The News & Observer previously reported.
Johnson & Johnson plans to ship 4 million doses Sunday night that will be delivered to states for injections starting on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported. North Carolina is planning to receive between 30,000 and 60,000 doses, according to Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Wake County’s vaccine team was already making plans to partner with approved community vaccine providers to distribute and administer this vaccine, but they don’t know a specific date the doses will arrive, according to county spokesperson Stacy Beard.
Beard said Wake County Public Health was already set to have a record-breaking week of vaccination with 11,890 first doses, a 40% increase from the previous week. These additional 5,200 doses will add to that number.
Health care workers, long-term-care staff and residents, individuals over age 65, school teachers, school workers and child care workers are currently eligible for the vaccine in North Carolina.
North Carolina residents can find a COVID-19 vaccination information page on the DHHS website or request an appointment online through Wake County.
“We’re really excited for this momentum,” Beard said in a text message. “The best vaccine for you is the one you can get, so we really encourage everyone to take advantage now that more supply is available.”
UNC Health expects to receive 4,100 J&J doses this week. That includes 3,600 doses that will go to its largest vaccination clinic, at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, according to spokesperson Alan Wolf.
The clinic is also administering the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and has given out more than 32,000 doses since it opened on Jan. 11. This week UNC Health expects to pass 200,000 total doses given, Wolf sad..
The News & Observer contacted Durham County Public Heath regarding the J&J vaccine, but did not hear back Sunday night.